Canadian Student Loans

Canadian StudentA student loan is a form of financial aid offered by the government, banks, and other financial institutions to help students fund their college or university education. When grants, scholarships, and other desirable forms of financial aid fall short of enabling a student to cover the total cost of attendance, student loans can be a great way to help fill the financial gap. Some governments and most major banks offer student loans that have low interest rates and flexible repayment options. Rates, options, and specifically flexible features of certain loans vary from lender to lender and even from loan to loan, so it is important that you thoroughly research lenders and loan options that are available to you. If you are looking to compare your private loan options, you can simply use our Student Loan Comparison Tool above to search, compare, and apply for private student loans that meet your financial needs.


There are two main types of student loans in Canada, these being the state owned Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) and lines of credit from private banks. Lines of credit are essentially private Canadian student loans.

Requirements and Features

To receive a Canadian student loan, a student must first apply for a provincial or territorial student loan, after which the student will be automatically considered for a Canada Student Loan. The necessary applications are available from provincial or territorial student assistance offices and a school’s financial aid office. Students must apply every year for the loan(s), and must show proof of enrollment within six months of their last semester in school to the lenders in order to maintain interest-free status. Not all provinces or territories participate in the CSLP, so you should check with your government’s student assistance

office. More information can be found from the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). Some Canadian student loan lenders require a good credit history to approve a student for a loan, but there are lenders for applicants with relatively poor credit histories as well. Canadian student loans usually come with low interest rates, and you are not required to start repaying the loan until after you complete your education. Some of the lenders in Canada also offer deferment of repayment for a specific period of time, if provided with a valid financial reason.

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