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Canada suspends federal student loan payments during COVID-19 crisis

Students will be automatically enrolled into the six-month loan holiday program

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Shady Salah – Media in Toronto

The National Student Loan Service Centre said the pause on payments and interest accumulation takes effect Mar. 30 and will last until Sept. 30. But Qualtrough didn’t rule out possibility of extending the repayment break.

The federal government has taken another step to ease the economic situation on Canadians amid the outbreak of the COVID-19, by giving students with federal students loan debt a six-month break on payments and interest.
“I went to law school and having the debt and having the worry, it’s an anxiety” Employment and Workforce Development Minister Carla Qualtrough told CBC news.
“This situation is so fluid we would not rule out doing that” she said. “As the situation becomes more complicated and becomes more serious, there’s never going to be a point we don’t consider extending anything that we announced today.” The break on loans is part of an $82 billion rescue package for the Canadian economy, which includes $27 billion in direct supports and another $55 billion to help business liquidity through tax deferrals.

The Canadian Federation of Students is also calling for further help for unemployed students who will need help paying tuition for the upcoming semester, and for international students who don’t have the same health coverage.

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations applauded the federal government’s move to provide student loan relief and joined the Ontario Green Party in calling on provincial and territorial governments to follow Ottawa’s move.

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