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Student Loan Repayment Assistance & Forgiveness Options in Canada | National, Provincial & Private

Getting a post-secondary education in Canada is getting more expensive and many people are finding that their degrees, diplomas or certificates are putting them deeply into debt. If you have accumulated a decent amount of student loan debt, you may be struggling to make your payments and are wondering what options are available to provide you with student loan repayment assistance, debt relief, forgiveness or any kind of help. This section of our site will provide you with an overview of all of your options for national student loans as well as provincial student loans.

Identify What Kind of Student Loan You Have: a National Student Loan, a Provincial Student Loan or a Private Student Loan

This first step in understanding the options that are available for you is to determine what kind of student loan you have. Student loans issued prior to August 1, 2000 were provided through a lending institution such as a bank or credit union. Repayment of these loans is done directly through the bank that issued it. As policies and repayment assistance strategies will be different at each bank, it is important to speak to someone at the issuing institution in order to find out what your options are and determine the best repayment strategy.

Student loans issued after August 1, 2000 and up until recently, have been issued by both provincial student loan programs and the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). These loans do not involve a bank or credit union but are issued and maintained by provincial or federal government appointed bodies. More recently, in a hope to simplify the process, some provincial student loans and national student loans have been integrated and are now issued and maintained through the NSLSC.

Once you have figured out whether your student loan was issued privatly or through a provincial or federal program and you know what date your student loan was issued on, then you can contact the appropriate organization. Further below are links to the provincial and national organizations that administer student loans in Canada.

Student Loan Debt Relief is Available – Try to Seek Help Sooner Rather Than Later

Regardless of what type of loan you have it is important that you maintain your minimum monthly payments. Even though student loans often have lengthy amortization periods (the number of years you have to repay your loan) and relatively low interest rates, missed payments are not overlooked and can come with serious consequences. To learn about what can happen if you don't make your student loan payments and your loan becomes delinquent or is in default, click here. If you are struggling to make your monthly payments you should explore some of the repayment options available to you through the various student loan agencies.

British Columbia (BC) Student Loan Repayment Assistance Options

The British Columbia Student Loan Service Bureau (BCSLSB) has a number of student loan repayment assistance options available to people who are struggling to repay their student loans. These options include interest relief, extended amortization, principal deferment and loan forgiveness. It is important to note that if your loan is delinquent or in default you may not be eligible for these repayment options. To learn more about these BC student loan repayment assistance and forgiveness options, click here.

National Canada Student Loans Repayment Assistance Options

The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) has some different programs in place in order to provide assistance to individuals struggling with repayment. Even if you are paying off a provincial student loan you should still familiarize yourself with the national loan program as all provincial student loans will be integrated with the NSLSC as of July 2012. The repayment assistance options available through the NSLSC are term revision and a two stage repayment assistance plan. You can learn more about these national Canada student loan repayment assistance options by clicking here.

In the ideal world everyone would have a good paying career waiting for them the moment that they finished their post-secondary education and paying off student loans would not be an issue. In reality, university and college graduates often have difficulty finding work following graduation. Having to make monthly loan repayments soon after graduation while landing a good job or juggling mounting expenses can be a difficult task. In order to avoid getting overwhelmed it is important to be proactive and stay on top of your monthly payments. Keep your lender informed of your situation. If you are struggling to make payments or see financial difficulties coming, they should be able to provide you with some guidance and let you know what your options are. Also remember that there are debt relief, assistance, and forgiveness programs in place to help you when you are having trouble making your payments, but most of these options require you to submit a formal application. If you are having a difficult time managing your student loan debt be proactive and don’t be afraid to look for some assistance. Programs have been created for this.

For more information and program applications check out these sites:


StudentAid BC

British Columbia Student Loan Service Bureau

National Student Loan Service Centre

More Debt Help

If you are really concerned about your current financial situation, you can also consider speaking with a trained Credit Counsellor about how you can deal with your debt and possibly find ways to manage your money better.