In-study payment-free status

The interest rate on all B.C. government-issued student loans was eliminated on February 19, 2019. However, you are still responsible for paying any interest that has accumulated on your B.C. student loans prior to that date.

Note: Effective April 1st, 2023, the Government of Canada has eliminated the interest charged on all Canada Student Loans. You continue to be responsible to pay any interest that may have accrued on your loan before April 1, 2023.

Am I eligible for in-study payment free status?

If you are enrolled in full-time studies at a designated institution, you may be eligible for in-study payment-free status.

  • You must either apply for further student financial assistance or apply for in-study payment-free status.
  • Your school must confirm your enrolment.
  • You must not have any outstanding interest owed on your student loans.
  • You must not have any restrictions preventing you from being eligible for a funded term.
Note: If you have outstanding interest owing on your Canada-B.C. integrated student loan before the Confirmation of Enrolment is received and after your in-study start date, you will be required to pay any accumulated interest before your loan can be put into in-study payment-free status.

How do I maintain in-study payment-free status on my Canada-B.C. integrated student loan and when am I required to start making payments?

If you are enrolled in full-time studies at a designated institution, you are not required to make payments on your Canada-B.C. integrated student loan until the first day of the seventh month following the end of your studies.

If you withdraw or have an unsuccessful term, it may affect your eligibility for further assistance.

There are two ways to maintain in-study payment-free status on your Canada-B.C. integrated student loan:

  1. 1 Apply for and receive further student financial assistance
    If you are a returning student and are receiving additional full-time student financial assistance (loans or grants), you will not have to begin repayment. Your Canada-B.C. integrated student loan will automatically be placed into in-study payment-free status when your school confirms your enrolment for your student financial assistance.
  2. 2 Apply for in-study payment-free status
    If you are a returning student and are not receiving further full-time student financial assistance, you must apply to maintain your in-study payment-free status so that your Canada-B.C. integrated student loan does not go into repayment while you are in study.

    How to apply for your in-study payment-free status:
    One application will keep both your outstanding Canada student loan and your B.C. student loan from entering repayment.
    NOTE: Confirmation of your enrolment must be received by the NSLSC on or before the date you return to studies to make sure that in-study payment-free status is in place for your study period start date.

Am I eligible to stay in the non-repayment period or in-study payment-free status if I need to leave school for medical or parental reasons?

Effective October 1, 2020, StudentAid BC began offering a six-month medical or parental leave to borrowers who need to take a temporary leave from school for medical reasons, including mental health reasons, or following the birth or adoption of a child.

While on an approved medical or parental leave, you are considered to be in-study and therefore will maintain your payment-free status as well, time on medical or parental leave is not counted towards your lifetime maximum weeks of student financial assistance.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements and to access the application for medical or parental leave, please visit the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program page.

What is the maximum number of weeks I can receive student loan funding?

All Canada-B.C. integrated loans and B.C. Risk-Sharing and Guaranteed Loans are subject to a maximum number of weeks.

The lifetime maximum weeks for student loan funding are:

  • 340 weeks for non-doctoral programs
  • 400 weeks (including all weeks accumulated during bachelor and master’s studies) for students in doctoral (PhD-level) studies
  • 520 weeks for persons with a permanent disability, or a persistent or prolonged disability

You are no longer entitled to receive further student financial assistance (loans or grants) once you have reached your lifetime maximum weeks of funding. If you reach the lifetime maximum partway through the study period in which you are currently enrolled, student financial assistance will be continued to the end of that study period.

All weeks of study in which you received loans, grants, in-study interest-free status (prior to April 1, 2023), or in-study payment-free status (effective April 1, 2023), are counted towards your lifetime maximum.

If you reach the maximum number of weeks of StudentAid BC funding and are still in full-time studies, you are still eligible for in-study payment-free status and you can defer repayment until the six-month non-payment period following your studies' end date. Your school will need to confirm your enrolment with the National Student Loans Service Center (NSLSC). Apply for payment-free status online through NSLSC portal or submit a paper Confirmation of Enrolment – Schedule 2 form to the NSLSC.