Debt Reduction Program

All students who received a Nova Scotia Student Loan (NSSL) between August 1, 2003 to July 31, 2008 can apply for Debt Reduction when they successfully graduate from a Canadian school for which they received the loans.

Debt Reduction Program funds are calculated on outstanding loans, and are used to reduce amounts you still owe on your student loans. If you have been paying on your student loans already, the Debt Reduction amounts will be used to benefit you as follows:

The amount of Debt Reduction benefit you receive will be:

  • applied to reduce your Nova Scotia Student Loans, if any

  • any amount left over is used to reduce amounts you still owe on your Canada Student Loans, if any

  • any amount still remaining will be forwarded to you by cheque.

The percentage of debt reduction you may receive increases with each additional year that you received NS Student Loans (see table below).

Apply & Info:

Contact us to receive an application for Debt Reduction or download it here. Submit the application along with:

  • University Graduates: a complete transcript, including transfer credits (if applicable) and date of graduation
  • Community Colleges or Private Career College Graduates : copy of your transcript and diploma

If you qualify for and receive Debt Reduction: You may be eligible for two (2) additional awards.


Employment Bonus Award

If you have worked full-time in Nova Scotia for at least 50 weeks in the three-year period since graduating, you could receive an additional 50% of the amount of Debt Reduction that you received at graduation.

Apply & Info:

Please contact the Student Assistance Office for this application or download it here.


Repayment Bonus Award

If you make 12 payments on your Nova Scotia Student Loan (or a lump-sum payment of an equivalent amount) within three years of graduation (full principal plus interest), you could receive an additional 20% of the amount of Debt Reduction that you received at graduation. Your eligibility for this award is determined using your original loan payment amount, calculated when your loan first entered repayment. If you reduce your payment through a Revision of Terms, more than 12 payments will be needed before you can receive this award.

Apply & Info:

If you have been approved to receive the Debt Reduction benefit, Resolve will automatically assess you for the Repayment Bonus Award. Borrowers who are repaying student loans through RBC should submit proof of these 12 payments to us, along with a letter requesting the Repayment Bonus Award.


Example of Debt Reduction Calculation

The table below shows an example of Debt Reduction amounts for a student that received Nova Scotia Student Loans for a number of academic years after 2003/2004.

Year of Nova Scotia Student Loan NS Student Loan Debt Reduction % Debt Reduction Award
Yr 1 $5100 15% $765
Yr 2 $5100 25% $1275
Yr 3 $5100 35% $1785
Yr 4 $5100 45% $2295
Yr 5 (extra year) $5100 15% $765


Since Debt Reduction is based on successful completion of the program for which you obtained a Nova Scotia Student Loan, transfers of credits to a new program will only be eligible if a minimum of 3 full credits are transferred per academic year. For example, if a student enrols in a BA program, but transfers to a BSc program, a minimum of 3 full-time credits for each year of the BA program must be transferred for that loan year to be considered for Debt Reduction.