Financial Aid FAQ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How will I pay for school and graduate without a huge debt while on a student loan?
Student loans are a source of funding; however, they are meant to supplement income – not replace it. It is important to borrow wisely and never borrow more than needed. Learn to live simply and within your means! Plan your finances to avoid added stress and always keep repayment in mind. A part time job while studying would allow you to start making payments right away without penalty. Contact our Financial Aid Office for more helpful tips.
2. I am in need of government student loans and grants. How do I apply?
You can find general information about student loans and grants here. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you need any assistance with your application. If your situation changes after you apply, talk to an Admissions Associate to receive assistance with the reassessment or appeal of your application.
3. I need to pay my fees but my student loan funding has been delayed. What can I do?
Students approved for student loan funding sometimes experience unusual delays in the processing of their loan. If you have been approved and are unable to pay your fees prior to receiving your student loan, you can request a fee deferral. This will allow you to pay the outstanding amounts from your loan.
If you are on a Student Loan and your loan is still pending, you must contact the Financial Aid Department at the Blanche Macdonald Centre immediately to check on your loan status. Please contact Carly Ho at 604-685-0337 (Robson Campus) or Amber Zhu at 604-685-0347 (City Square Campus).
**NOTE: If you are on a student loan, please be advised that the kit cost is usually covered by the loan unless there has been a shortage on the loan amount or if the loan is still being processed. In either case, the kit must be paid for at the time of check-in and is the responsibility of the student.
4. How do I maintain interest-free status on an outstanding student loan?
If you qualify for and receive new loan funding, previous government loan balances will automatically be put into interest-free status. You are not required to take any additional action.
If you are a returning student who is not receiving student loans, you can submit an application for interest-free status online through the StudentAid BC website or contact our Financial Aid Office to speak with an Admissions Associate.
**NOTE: If you do have outstanding interest owing, in most cases you will be required to pay it before your loan will be put into interest-free status.
5. What do I need to know about Student Loan Repayment?
Although you are not required to make payments on government student loans for a period of six months after leaving full-time studies, interest does begin to accumulate during this grace period. You can begin to make payments at any time or even pay off the grace period interest as a lump sum at the end of your 6 months. This will reduce your monthly payment amount and the amount of interest that you will pay over time. Moreover, you will receive a 15% tax credit on the interest you pay on your student loans each year.
**NOTE: Your grace period interest will automatically be added onto your loan principal amount, unless it is paid off during the six months.
Students having difficulty with student loan repayment can pursue debt relief measures. Please contact Annamaria Masellis or Paula Lewis at 604-685-0347 (City Square Campus) for more information.
6. What is loan consolidation?
Consolidation starts on the first day of the seventh month after you stop attending full time studies. Quite simply, it means that you have been given a repayment date at which point your monthly loan payments will commence.
A Loan Consolidation Agreement will be sent to you from your lender(s) approximately 45 days before entering repayment. This document will contain details about your outstanding loan balance, monthly payment amount, monthly payment date, length of repayment time, interest rate charged and bank account from which payments will be withdrawn.
7. Who will I repay?
If your loans were issued by: British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan or Yukon you only have one loan provider, the National Student Loan Service Centre. Borrowers with a part-time student loan will also need to repay the NSLSC.
If your loans were issued by: Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island you will need to stay in touch with 2 loan providers. The federal portion is managed through the National Student Loan Service Centre and the provincial portion through your provincial student assistance office.
If your loans were issued by: Quebec, Nunavut or Northwest Territories you will repay your loan through the student assistance office of your province or territory of residence
8. Can I speed up my student loan repayment?
Yes! You can make lump sum payments or increase your monthly payment amount at any time during the life of your loan. These extra amounts will reduce the principal of your loan and thus the amount of interest you will pay over time. Student loans generally have a lifespan of 9.5 years; however you can speed up your repayment at any time. Use the Loan Repayment Estimator to explore your options.
Please contact Annamaria Masellis or Paula Lewis at 604-685-0347 (City Square Campus) for more information.
9. What if I am unable to make my monthly payments?
Consider applying for the Repayment Assistance Plan. If you are eligible, this program will allow you to make affordable payments based on gross family income and family size.
If you are not eligible and still facing financial hardship, there are still other available options to help you. Please contact Annamaria Masellis or Paula Lewis at 604-685-0347 (City Square Campus) for more information.
10. What happens if I don't repay my student loan?
If you don't repay your student loan you could face:
- Loss of future income tax refunds and tax rebates
- Garnishment of your wages
- Loss of eligibility for debt management programs
- Loss of eligibility for future student loan funding
- Added interest charges
- Bad credit rating and inability to get credit (to buy a house, car, rent property, etc)
- Being contacted by a collection agency
- Liens against your property