The following information is a guide to the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Programme. It is meant to help you better understand the programme and navigate the many rules that affect student assistance. For detailed information about the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Programme please contact the Financial Aid Office on your campus or the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Office at:Brunswick Place

2021 Brunswick StreetHalifax, Nova Scotia

Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

(Entrance up front stairs off of Brunswick Street)

Mailing Address:
Student Assistance Office
PO Box 2290, Halifax Central
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3C8
Fax: 424-0540

Website: www.studentloans.ns.ca

Phone:
424-8420 (Halifax Regional Municipality)
1-800-565-8420 (toll free within Nova Scotia)
424-2058 (Telecommunication device for the hearing impaired)

Please remember to keep records of all student loan and bank documents that you receive. You will need them in the future.

If you have a student loan from another province or territory, please refer to student loan information specific to that province.If you are an out-of province student, please refer to student loan information specific to your province of residence.

How To Apply Student Financial Assistance

Regardless of whether you obtain a government student loan, or a student loan directly from a financial institution, it is imperative that you keep copies of all related documents, and inform the appropriate parties when there has been a change to the information you provided on your application. Most importantly, read and understand all information provided on every document you sign before signing it. Once you have signed any agreement, you are bound by the terms of that agreement.

Students can apply for student assistance with the on line application available on the Nova Scotia Student Assistance web site at www.studentloans.ednet.ns.ca. The processing time is faster when students apply on line. If a student needs a paper application they can receive one by contacting the Student Assistance Office.

In order to qualify for financial assistance with the province of Nova Scotia, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen, Landed Immigrant, or Protected Person;
  • You must be a resident of Nova Scotia (see Nova Scotia Student Assistance website for details);
  • You must be enrolled in an approved program that is at least 12 weeks long and offered by a designated institution (such as a university, college, or technical school);
  • You must be enrolled in at least 60% of a full course load, or 40% of a full course load if you have a permanent disability;
  • You must meet minimum academic standards to maintain eligibility;
  • Any previous student loans must be in good standing; and
  • You may be required to undergo a credit check.

Nova Scotia Student Financial Assistance does not provide assistance for an “upgrading program,” a “fully-funded transition year program,” or a course not credited towards a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Filling out the forms, checking your loan status, and cashing your loan

It takes four to six weeks for your student loan application to be processed. There will be a delay if your application is incomplete. Here are the basic steps to process your Canada Student Loan:

  • Submit your application online, by mail, or fax. It is recommended that you submit your application online, as this will provide you with the fastest service;
  • Keep track of your application status online;
  • Receive your loan assessment, CSL loan document, pre-study report, and loan negotiation instructions in the mail. You should review this documentation to make sure the information is accurate;
  • Have your educational institution sign and approve your documents; and
  • Take your approved CSL loan documents to a designated Canada Post Outlet or National Student Loan Kiosk on campus and “negotiate” your loan. “Negotiating” your loan simply means filling out the appropriate paperwork to allow funds to be disbursed to you and your educational institution as required. Students will be required to show appropriate identification.
  • Keep a copy of all of your paperwork.

Recently, the Nova Scotia Student Assistance introduced a electronic processing system. Under this system, the confirmation of your enrolment will be completed by your university through an electronic system.

In order for your Nova Scotia student loan to be calculated and your educational institution to be contacted for electronic confirmation of enrolment, you must first submit your pre-study report, either online or by paper. If you complete your report online, the Nova Scotia Student Assistance office will identify whether you have to submit a Banking Information Form. This form can either be downloaded and printed off as you complete your online report or mailed to you. If you requested your pre-study report in paper format, then the Banking Information Form will be included. Your school is not able to access your file to confirm enrolment until your Banking Information Form has been submitted and received by the Nova Scotia Student Assistance office.

To negotiate your Canada Student Loan, take your loan documents (Schedule 1) along with your social insurance card, photo-identification (such as your driver’s license, Passport or other government ID) to a designated postal outlet. To find a designated postal outlet, visit www.canlearn.ca or call the National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514 (within North America).

Check with your campus student financial aid office to find out on which days students can negotiate their loans on campus.

Repaying Your Student Loan

You must start repaying your student loans six months after you complete full-time studies. If you are taking more than six months off from full-time studies or become a part-time student you must begin repayment after six months.

Starting in 2008, graduates also have the option to defer their payments for up to 12 months or the length of a required internship or residency. During this time, however, interest will continue to accrue, and be added to the balance when you enter repayment.

The service provider holding your student loan account will provide you with a Repayment Schedule giving you the details of your expected monthly payments, when your payments are due, and the length of your repayment period.

You will need to make separate monthly payments for your Canada Student Loan and your Nova Scotia Student Loan. It is important that you discuss a Repayment Schedule with the bank or service provider holding your student loan account.

If you don’t receive a Repayment Schedule you will still be expected to make your monthly payments. If you do not receive a schedule, contact your service provider.

Repayment Assistance, and Payment Deferral

Repayment assistance is a program that will cover some or all of the payments on your loan if you are having serious difficulty repaying your student loans because of insufficient income. To qualify for repayment assistance, you must complete a form that is available through the service provider that holds your student debt. For both the Nova Scotia portion and federal portion of your loan, assistance is available for up to 60 54 months.

If you are in study and do not want a previous loan to go into repayment for Canada Student Loans you must fill out a “Schedule 2” form at the financial aid office on your campus. Financial aid staff will be able to assist you with any questions about the form

Proof of income is not required for your initial application for the first six months; however, you must provide proof of income for every subsequent application. For more information contact Nova Scotia Student Assistance.

After the 60-month period, if you are still unable to afford debt payments, you can ask to have your loan repayment period extended from 10 years to 15 years.

If you are no longer a student and you are having difficulty making your payments, you may still be eligible for assistance. Contact Nova Scotia Student Assistance to find out if you qualify.

Defaulting on Loan Payments

If you were required to begin repaying a previous student loan and were not able to make the regular payments, you could be in default. If you have defaulted on your student loan, you will not be eligible for additional loans until the defaulted payments have been cleared up.

Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection

As of June 30, 1998, individuals can no longer seek bankruptcy protection on student loan debt for seven years following the end of studies.

For free and confidential counselling and information about your options please contact the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Office.

Phone:
424-8420 (metro)
1-800-565-8420 (toll free within Nova Scotia)
424-2058 (Telecommunication device for the hearing impaired).

Keep informed about student assistance policy because it changes regularly. Through the Canadian Federation of Students, your students’ union advocates for improvements in the student assistance program. To get involved please contact your students’ union office.

Appealing Your Nova Scotia Student Loan Assessment

Some students may experience unusual and/or extraordinary circumstances that deserve additional consideration when applying for student assistance. Students who believe they are in circumstances of an extraordinary nature may request a review of their student loan award by an independent appeals committee.

If you find yourself in this position, you need to complete an Appeal form and may be required to attach additional documentation to support your case. The financial aid office on your campus should be able to help you through this process. The Appeal form is available at http://studentloans.ednet.ns.ca/ or at:

Brunswick Place
2021 Brunswick Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm