HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT STUDENT LOAN?
The main difference between a student line of credit and the government student loan program is in how the interest accumulates and the loans are repaid. If you qualify for a student line of credit, you will usually be responsible for all the interest that accrues as soon as you take funds from your line of credit. If you do not take any funds from your line of credit, there will be no interest. In addition, you will usually have to make monthly interest payments while you are in school. In contrast, if you qualify for a government student loan, you will not accrue interest provided you are enrolled as a full-time student, and you take the appropriate steps to update your enrolment information with the National Student Loan Service Centre (for Out of Province loans). For BC residents, apply for interest free status via StudentAid BC. You would not make any monthly payments either, if you notify your service providers that you are attending school full-time.
Due to the advantages offered by the government student loan program, we recommend you apply for a government loan first before looking at student lines of credit. If you do decide to pursue private funding sources, be sure to shop around and research the terms and conditions carefully as they can vary between financial institutions. A co-signer may also be required.