KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2012) - Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced streamlined student loan services and expanded repayment assistance.
"Our government understands the importance of post-secondary education and the challenges that students face," said Mr. Cannan. "That's why we're getting rid of the red tape and making it easier for B.C. students to manage their loans."
The federal and B.C. governments have fully integrated their student loan programs, resulting in a single loan for students to manage and repay through a central service point. As an integrated loan, the federal Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) will now apply to the borrower's entire loan balance. The RAP helps eligible borrowers make payments that they can reasonably afford. Previously, the RAP applied only to the federal loan portion.
"We're committed to helping students get the education they need to succeed-regardless of their individual financial circumstances," said the Honourable John Yap, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology. "By working with the federal government on student loan integration and the Repayment Assistance Plan, we're making it easier for students to manage their loans, and we're providing more support for people having difficulty repaying their student loans."
The Government of Canada is also working with other provinces to improve student loan services by streamlining processes, reducing paperwork and expanding online services.
For more information on how to save, plan and pay for post-secondary education, visit CanLearn.ca.
This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
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The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) offers financial assistance to full- and part-time students pursuing post-secondary education in the form of loans, grants and repayment assistance. The CSLP delivers student financial assistance in partnership with most provinces and territories. Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut operate their own programs.
As of July 2012, British Columbia became the fifth province to integrate with the federal CSLP. Integration supports the Government of Canada's Service Delivery Vision, which will simplify student financial assistance. Integrated student loans are easier for students to manage, allowing them to apply for, manage and repay a single student loan, instead of two separate student loans (a federal and a provincial loan).
Additionally, the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) now applies to a B.C. borrower's entire student loan. Previously available only for their Canada Student Loans, the RAP helps eligible borrowers by allowing them to pay back only what they can reasonably afford.
The Service Delivery Vision, announced in Budget 2008, is a national, multi-year initiative aimed at providing students with simple, easy-to-manage student financial assistance. For example, in B.C., Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, students now sign a multi-year loan agreement (the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement) and use electronic confirmation of enrolment, which has replaced paper-based processes. An online application for repayment assistance measures, eRAP, is expected to be launched in 2013.