Taking out a student loan is one way to raise funds to finance your study abroad. For international students, it can be difficult to find a lender if you do not have a credit history or a cosigner. There are several ways to improve your credit score or find a cosigner to help you. You can learn more about them here.
As an international student who has gained admission to a Canadian university, you can apply for a loan without a cosigner. And with some lenders, the credit history requirement is replaced with academic success and work history.
Loans in Canada are made by the federal government, provincial or territorial governments, or the private sector. If you’re not sure which of the loan options is right for you, keep reading to find out how they differ.
Federal Government Loans
Just as the name suggests, this is a type of loan provided by the Canadian Federal government to help international and domestic students fund their education. You can apply for school loans from the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) or grants from the Canada Student Grants Program (CSGP). The CSLP is a repayable loan to students who are studying a full-time or part-time course program in Canada. A CSGP is a non-repayable money usually a grant that is provided to students who demonstrate financial need.
Provincial and Territorial Student Loans
In case you don’t get lucky to get a federal loan, another option for you will be to apply for provincial and territorial student loans. Each province provides a loan option for students and the requirement and the amount receivable depends on the province in which you reside.
Provincial Loans and Where to assess them
- Alberta: Apply through Alberta Learning Information Service
- British Columbia: Apply through StudentAidBC
- Manitoba: Apply through Manitoba Student Aid
- New Brunswick: Apply through New Brunswick’s Student Financial Services
- Newfoundland and Labrador: Apply through Newfoundland and Labrador Student Aid.
- Northwest Territories: Apply through NWT Student Financial Assistance.
- Nova Scotia: Apply through Nova Scotia Student Assistance
- Ontario: Apply through Ontario Student Assistance Program
- Prince Edward Island: Apply through PEI Student Financial Services.
- Quebec: Apply through Aide financiere aux etudes.
- Saskatchewan: Apply through Saskatchewan Student Financial Assistance program
- Yukon Territory: Apply through Yukon Student Financial Assistance
Private Student Loans
Loans made by private financial companies and organizations are considered private loans. This is another way for students to get quick loans you need for books, housing, tuition, transportation and more. Each private sector that offers these loans has its own requirements, interest rates and repayment options. You should find out which ones are best for you.
How to choose the right international loan for you
Make sure you compare the features of the different loan options, find out what the interest rates are, and check if they are beneficial for you. Inquire about what repayment options are available, and pay attention to whether the lender will help you defer payments if you have trouble making them. Find out what clauses apply to late repayments, and make sure the lender has a variety of contact options so you can reach them easily.