Loan forgiveness works differently for students with permanent disability or for students graduating with a diploma or certificate:
Nova Scotia Student Loan Forgiveness Program: undergraduate degrees
As of 1 August 2019, the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program can eliminate all Nova Scotia Student Loan debt for eligible borrowers who study at Nova Scotia universities.
Nova Scotia students graduating from Nova Scotia non-professional undergraduate programs may no longer have to repay the provincial portion of their student loans. Graduates can receive 5 years of loan forgiveness, up to $20,400.
Nova Scotia Loans issued on or after 1 August, 2015 may be eligible for Loan Forgiveness.
- You must graduate from an undergraduate, non-professional degree program at a Nova Scotia university.
- It must be your first undergraduate degree eligible for the Loan Forgiveness Program.
- The entire degree must be completed within eight years of starting it.
- In most cases, the qualifying degree can include credit transfers that are made under inter-institutional agreements (sometimes known as a Letter of Permission).
- Must have eligible Nova Scotia student loans (Canada Student Loans are not eligible for the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program).
- If you graduated before 1 August, 2017, and took five or more years to complete your degree, you will be assessed for Loan Forgiveness for your first four years of study toward that degree.
- If you graduated after 1 August, 2017, and took five or more years to complete your degree, you will be assessed for Loan Forgiveness for your first five years of study toward that degree.
- If you graduate(d) before 1 August, 2019, you must have a total combined government student loan debt (CSL and NSSL) greater than $28,560.
- If you graduate after 1 August, 2019, your entire Nova Scotia Student Loan could be forgiven (up to the five year maximum).
How to apply
There is no application required for Loan Forgiveness. Student Assistance will not request any information from you by phone or in writing.
We automatically review the Nova Scotia Student Loan account of all new graduates after their schools tell us that they’ve graduated. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a letter in the mail. The letter includes the amount of your loan that will be forgiven.
If you’re not eligible, we won’t contact you. If you think you should have received Loan Forgiveness but didn’t get a letter, please contact us using the “Ask Us a Question” feature in MyPATH to request a review.
We assess Loan Forgiveness on any Nova Scotia Student Loans you have received since August 2015, based on the program criteria listed above. At the same time, we'll also check to see whether you may qualify for Debt Cap benefit for any Nova Scotia Student Loans you received during the August 2011-July 2015 academic years.
If you owe any amount on your Nova Scotia Student Loan, the program will pay up to 100% of any outstanding Nova Scotia Student Loan amounts.
If you owe less on your Nova Scotia Student Loan than you receive in Loan Forgiveness (i.e. if you have already paid back some of your loan) the difference will be paid toward your Canada Student Loan if any. Any remaining amount will be sent to you in the form of a mailed cheque.
How long it takes
If you are eligible, you will receive a letter about your assessment for the Nova Scotia Student Loan Forgiveness Program about 3-6 weeks from the date we receive graduation information from your school.
It may take up to 30 days for your school to provide us with your graduation information.
Other repayment programs
If you graduated before 1 August 2019 there are repayment programs to help you with your student loans.