ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR GOVERNMENT STUDENT LOANS?

In this informative blog, Maria of Drake Medox College helps you better understand if you might qualify for Government Student Loans.

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Welcome to the first edition of my Student Loan blog series. In this issue I want to give you some insight into the application process for  BC and Canada National Student Loans. Advancing your education is the best option of getting ahead in life. Every dollar you spend on your education is an investment in yourself.

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Education can be expensive but there are different resources available besides your parents’ bank account. They start with flexible payment plans offered by a school itself, student bank loans or the student loan offered by the Government of Canada.

The Government of Canada works with most provincial or territorial governments to deliver Federal and Provincial student loan programs. Before you can receive a government student loan you need to verify that both the school’s program and you as an applicant are eligible.  Both the Health Care Assistant and Community Support Worker programs at Drake Medox are eligible.  To find a list of all schools and eligible programs  you can visit the StudentAidBC website: https://studentaidbc.ca/apply/designated

Your eligibility for the StudentAid BC loan is defined by 8 criteria listed below. You must meet ALL of them in order to get your application approved.

  1. You are a Canadian citizen OR a permanent resident OR a protected person with a Protected Person’s Status Document valid for the entire study period
  2. You have a valid Canadian social insurance number
  3. You are a resident of British Columbia = you have lived in BC for past year
  4. You registered for an approved full time program = you are going to work less than 32 hours per week for at least 50% of the study period
  5. You have not defaulted on previous student loan = if you had Canada student loan in past you have repaid it or continue paying on time
  6. You are able to demonstrate financial need = your income during study period combined with your available resources is not sufficient to cover your living and study expenses during the study period
  7. Maintain full-time status as a student = program’s study load must be 60% at minimum (you can check with your school advisor)
  8. You achieve satisfactory scholastic standing in each period of post-secondary study = you have to successfully complete your courses

BC residency, the third criterion, requires that you have lived in British Columbia for the past year. However there are some special circumstances taken in to consideration.

  • If you immigrated as a permanent resident directly to British Columbia from your country of origin less than a year ago, you are still meeting this requirement. You need to provide copy of your landing documentation along with a copy of your Permanent Resident card as a proof.
  • Secondly, if you have lived in other Canadian province and moved to BC less than a year ago you are still eligible to apply for Canadian government student loan through the province where you used to live. You need to notify your school advisors, and they will be able to guide you through the process.

Credit check is completed for every new applicant for the Government student loans. Your credit score needs to be in a good standing. The basic guideline is that in last 3 years you did not have any of the following:

  • an outstanding judgment with an amount of $1000 or more – court ordered you to pay $1,000 or more and you did not pay it
  • a foreclosure with an amount of $1000 or more
  • you missed for more than 90 days payment on 3 separate loans/debts (each loan worth of $1,000 and more) such as credit card, line of credit, utility bills, car loans, etc. while you had control over the circumstances which caused the loans

Once you have determined that you meet all requirements, and you have registered for an eligible program, you are ready to start your StudentAid BC student loan application!!

In most cases you will be required to complete your application online, directly at the StudentAid BC website (https://studentaidbc.ca/) . Your application is a 5-step process involving you as an applicant, your spouse or parent if applicable and your school.

  • Step 1: create your StudentAid BC account
  • Step 2: complete student loan application
  • Step 3: your spouse or parent completes Appendix
    • Your spouse has to complete Appendix 2 in case you are married
    • Your parent has to complete Appendix 1 in case you have graduated high school less than 4 years ago
  • Step 4: your school completes Appendix 3
  • Step 5: you submit your application

Both you and your spouse or parent will be asked to print Declaration Page where you agree with the terms of the loan. Signed Declaration Pages must be mailed to the StudentAid BC office for your application to be processed.

This wraps up the StudentAid BC loan application process. If you find these tips helpful, stay tuned for the next part where I am going to look more closely on the next steps once your student loan application is approved or declined.

If you have specific questions regarding your eligibility for Student Loans you can contact either Maria or Kunqi @ Drake Medox College’s Vancouver campus at 604 629-0196

 

 

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