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Guide to student loans

In Canada, the average cost of post-secondary education can exceed the $80,000 mark, making funding for it a stark reality for most students. If you’re unsure where to start, find out how to apply for student loans from federal, provincial, and private institutions by reading this guide.

Government student loan programs

The federal government has implemented two programs to help you fund your education. You can apply for a student loan under the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) or a grant under the Canada Student Grants Program (SGSP). For more information and how to apply, visit www.cantudy.ca.

  • Canada Student Loans Program: If you are studying full-time or part-time, you can apply for a loan under this program. If your application meets established financial need requirements, you may qualify for a federal government loan of up to 60% of your tuition. The maximum amount that a student can receive is already determined, and can be modified, hence the importance of consulting the most recent documents on this subject. After you graduate, you will be required to repay the loan amount plus interest to the government.
  • Canada Student Grants Program: This program brings together all the grants previously awarded by the federal government. Again, you must complete a scholarship application and demonstrate your financial need. If your application is successful, you may be eligible for a scholarship, which you will not have to repay after graduating. There are also scholarships for people who fall into specific categories, such as people with disabilities or attending an educational institution while caring for one or more dependent children.

Provincial and territorial student loans

When you have reached the maximum granted by the federal government or if financial assistance from this government is refused, you can apply for help from the government of your province or territory of residence.

  • Alberta: The Alberta Learning Information Service offers scholarships, bursaries, and student loans, as well as financial planning resources.
  • British Columbia: StudentAidBC offers loans, bursaries, scholarships, grants, etc. The organization provides information to applicants who care for dependents, have a disability, are on income assistance, or are in exceptional circumstances.
  • Manitoba: You can apply for student loans and grants through Manitoba Student Aid. If you are pursuing medical school, read the section on the Grants for medical school website.
  • New Brunswick: Apply for financial assistance for full-time or part-time studies through New Brunswick Student Financial Services. You will find all the information and forms you need to apply for provincial financial aid on this site.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Learn about the financial aid options on the Newfoundland and Labrador Student Aid website. Apply for a full-time or part-time student loan or learn about grants and other support options.
  • Northwest Territories: Find student guides, policies, procedures, and financial aid applications on the NWT Student Financial Assistance site.
  • Nova Scotia: Visit the Government of Nova Scotia’s student aid site to find out what options are available to you. You can submit a student loan application there and find the names of authorized institutions.
  • Ontario: The Ontario Student Assistance Program aims to provide financial support to its residents through student loans, grants, scholarships, and bursaries. If you are studying full-time or part-time, you may be eligible for financial aid.
  • Prince Edward Island: Apply for a provincial loan through Prince Edward Island Student Financial Services. Funding for full-time and part-time study is available.
  • Quebec: Take advantage of loans and bursaries offered to full-time and part-time students by the Student Financial Assistance Unit.
  • Saskatchewan: Find out about the student loan options available through the Saskatchewan Student Financial Assistance Program. You will find the specifics of the student aid program in the Student Loan Handbook and can then submit a loan application.
  • Yukon: See if you qualify for help from Yukon Student Financial Assistance. Find out about grants, loans, bursaries, and other funding sources you may be eligible for to pay for your education.

Loans to students granted by private institutions

If you’ve used the government’s financial aid options to the max, take a look at CIBC’s student loans and lines of credit. For example, you can get the funds you need to pay for your books, housing, tuition, transportation, and more with the Student Education Line of Credit.

Suppose you aim for a professional degree in medicine, accounting, dentistry, law, administration, pharmacy, or any other program. In that case, you can apply for a higher education loan and line of credit to meet the rising costs charged by schools offering these programs. CIBC offers the Professional Class Service Student Program, a line of credit with repayment options to suit your budget.

You can also use the equity in your or your parents’ home to earn a better interest rate on the CIBC Home Power Program®, a product that can help cover your education costs.

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