Understanding Student Loans Across Canada

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    mbarking on the journey of higher education opens doors to a world of possibilities, offering a gateway to diverse career opportunities and higher earning potential. However, this pursuit of knowledge often comes with notable financial and time commitments that can challenge many aspiring students. Except for the independently wealthy, most students can’t afford to pay for their diploma or degree programs out of pocket. Fortunately for prospective students, there are options!

    Understanding the financial landscape of education can be complex and overwhelming, especially for those navigating it for the first time. The array of options can be daunting, from deciphering loan terms to exploring scholarship opportunities. That's why ABM College has crafted this comprehensive guide to provide clear information and empower students to make informed decisions about their educational finances.

    ABM College wants to ensure that when you embark upon your academic pursuits, it will be with confidence, knowing that financial support is within reach. Together we can transform your educational aspirations into reality!


    Loan and funding eligibility depends on a few factors. Once you have selected your program of study, ABM College’s loan department will review the application process with you. To efficiently process your application, governmental Student Aid will require certain documentation. Specifics vary between provinces and territories, but most typically include:

    • Social Insurance Number
    • Date Completed or Last Attended High School
    • Total Gross Income from Your Tax Return

    If you are married, you must also provide additional information for your spouse. ABM’s loans department will provide more details based on your situation.

    Governmental Loans

    A student loan agreement detailing all relevant terms and conditions and repayment instructions
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    The Canadian government is committed to ensuring higher education is accessible to as many people as possible. One of the main ways they accomplish this is by providing loans to students. There is no interest and no payment due until months after graduation. This buffer time allows students the chance to secure employment in their field of study and establish themselves in their new jobs. Payments can be made in advance to reduce the principal which results in less interest once payments become due.

    The eligible loan amount will depend on a few different factors including program cost, family income, and number of dependents. Student loans from the government are typically split into federal and provincial portions – this is especially important to note when it comes time for repayment (more details on that below).

    Scholarships, Grants, and Bursaries

    A student pleasantly surprised at the additional funding which will allow her the freedom to pursue the education for her dream career
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    In addition to loans which require repayment after graduation, some students may be eligible for additional funding to assist with the cost of education. These four types of funding can be put towards the repayment of the loan, or used to assist with living expenses while studying. Unlike loans, these amounts do not need to be repaid.

    Scholarships:  Scholarships are bonus awards that may be offered by the school, businesses, or the government. Sometimes as a reward for excellence, other times to assist specific groups.

    Grants:  Both Federal and Provincial governments offer different kinds of grants for students with specific financial limitations and needs. When applying for a loan, students are automatically considered for grants.

    Bursaries:  Bursaries are also awarded based on financial need and are designed to help students who can’t otherwise afford to attend school.

    Completion Bonus:  Some schools, such as ABM College, additionally offer a completion bonus for students once they successfully graduate from a program.


    Careful financial planning to prepare for student loan repayment
    Image by Freepik

    Like any loan, student loans and any applicable interest require repayment. It is the student’s responsibility to repay the full loan amounts by the terms and conditions outlined by the government loan programs.

    Canadian federal student loans require payments to start six months after your graduation date. Most provincial student loans require payments to start twelve months after the graduation date. If you do not complete your education for any reason, repayment will be due sooner based on your termination date.

    Failure to make timely repayments may result in penalties, additional fees, or adverse effects on your credit score. It may also result in the loss of future student aid or grant assistance, income tax refunds and GST rebates. All students must be committed to fulfilling their repayment obligations and promptly inform loan servicers of any changes to their contact information or financial situation.

    Links and Resources

    The investment that is education as two students invest in their future.
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    There are numerous resources available for students when it comes to repayment. The latest information is always available for helpful reference from ABM College’s website under the Financial Aid section. Be sure to bookmark it for future use!

    Federal Student Loans for Canada

    National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC)

    Provincial Student Loans (BC/SK/MB/ON/NL/NB/YK)

    Provincial student loans for British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and the Yukon are repaid through the combined management of the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC).

    Provincial Student Loans (AB/NS/PE)

    Provincial student loans for Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island repay the two loans separately. The Federal loan is paid through the NSLSC. The Provincial loan is paid through your province.

    Provincial Student Loans (QC/NT/NV)

    Provincial student loans for Quebec, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut are paid directly to your province or territory.

    Additional Information

    For any other questions or concerns regarding your Student Loans, you can contact ABM College’s Student Services department and we will be happy to assist you.


    Navigating the financial landscape of higher education can be daunting, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it's entirely manageable. Thanks to a variety of funding options like government loans, scholarships, grants, and bursaries, students can alleviate the financial strain associated with pursuing their academic dreams. However, it's essential to remember that the journey doesn't end with graduation; it continues into the realm of loan repayment.

    Fulfilling repayment obligations is not only a personal responsibility, but also a commitment to the integrity of the education financing system. Failure to repay on time can have serious consequences, impacting credit scores and future financial opportunities. Therefore, staying informed about repayment terms and utilizing available resources is crucial for a successful post-graduation financial journey.

    Remember, ABM College's Student Services department is always here to provide support and guidance every step of the way. With careful planning and diligence, students can confidently pursue their educational goals and build a solid foundation for a bright future. You can get in touch with one of our helpful advisors or you can check out more exciting industry blogs right here!

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