Debt Cap Program

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The Debt Cap Program reduces total student debt for eligible Nova Scotia Student Loan borrowers. The Debt Cap Program is making post-secondary education more affordable for students who receive Nova Scotia Loans issued between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2015 by reducing the amount of provincial loan they owe at graduation.

NS Loans issued after August 1, 2015 may qualify under the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program.

Criteria: Qualifying for the Debt Cap benefit

How do I get the the Debt Cap benefit?

The criteria for the Debt Cap Program are:

  • You must have total combined government student loan debt (CSL and NSSL) greater than $28,560.
  • You must have received NS Student Loans while studying for an undergraduate, non-professional four-year degree program between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2015.
  • 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).
  • These years of study do not need to have been completed in Nova Scotia.
  • It must be your first undergraduate program funded with the help of Nova Scotia Student Assistance.

How do I get the Debt Cap benefit?

Students who go to school in Canada are automatically assessed** for the Debt Cap benefit when they graduate. Once we receive notice you have graduated from your school, we will assess your Debt Cap benefit on NS Student Loans you received between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2015. We'll also check to see whether you have any older loans that might qualify for reduction under the Debt Reduction Program.

Students studying outside Canada, please click here.

Keep your address and other contact information up to date!

You will receive a letter by mail that informs you that you've been assessed for the Debt Cap benefit and what, if any, amount you will receive as a Debt Cap benefit.

  • If you owe any amount on your Nova Scotia Student Loan, the Program will pay up to 100% of your outstanding Nova Scotia Student Loan amounts.
  • If you owe less on your Nova Scotia Student Loan than you receive in Debt Cap (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.
  • Important: Debt Cap benefit amounts are calculated on Nova Scotia Student Loans only.


  • If we have trouble obtaining your graduation data from your school, we may need to contact you to complete your assessment.
  • If you attended school outside Canada between 2011 and 2015, you may still qualify for the Debt Cap. We'll assess you automatically if we believe you might qualify, but you may have to complete a form and verify your graduation. Please contact us for details.


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