Canada welcomes over 90,000 international students each and every year from all over the world. They come to Canada looking to pursue their studies in one of the top study destinations in the world.
While they're here they can explore the second largest country in the world - with incredible, vibrant, bustling cities alongside vast expanses of nature and wildlife. If you're an international student looking to study in Canada but need additional money in order to afford this great adventure, you may be eligible for an international student loan.
In fact, we often get asked: "Are there any student loans for international students who apply to study at a university in Canada?"
And the simple answer is - yes!
Of course there's more to it than that, but the good news is that at least there are options available.
IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) will expect all international students to be able to finance their studies in Canada themselves. In order to be eligible for a Canadian study permit , an international student will have to show proof of having the necessary finances to support him or herself and any family members coming with them, in Canada. This could include written confirmation of scholarships, bursaries, loans or awards as proof of financial security.
A single student in most provinces of Canada would need to demonstrate that they have enough funding to cover their tuition plus $10,000 for a year.
For each adult accompanying family member (e.g. spouse or partner) an additional $4,000 per year is required.
And for each dependent child, add: $3,000 per year.
In Quebec, the financial requirements for prospective students are different so if you intend to study there please check the details.
(Figures are for illustration only are correct at time of publishing but please check with the relevant authority)
International students may not be eligible for certain forms of funding such as federal student loans and may need to investigate private student loans instead.
International Student Loans are private loans provided by specialist education loan providers. They are available for international students who are studying at approved universities in Canada.
There are a growing number of universities across Canada where students may apply for a loan without a co-signer. The majority of financial aid options at Canadian universities are aimed at Canadian students, meaning international students may not be able to access them.
Using your own savings and help from your family, plus some financial aid like grants or scholarships (which do not have to be paid back), you might only be able to cover some of the cost of studying in Canada. This is why many students rely on a loan to cover the remaining costs.
You should only apply for these loans after exhausting all scholarships, personal funds, and other options first.
International students can apply for a student loan without a cosigner if they are enrolled at a Canadian school that is already approved by a lender.
International students from many countries, American students and even Canadian citizens can apply and a co-signer is not required.
Instead the lender will look at your academic success and career path, not your credit history or that of a co-signer. They may also take into account your home country, your expected graduation date and the school you are attending.
Tuition fees and other education-related expenses such as accommodation, food, health insurance (if required) and educational supplies, books etc.
Borrowers who are not Canadian citizens or non-citizen permanent residents and who are attending an eligible university can apply.
Private education loans are managed by different companies. Each lender will have their own rules on eligibility and the requirements for approval.
It's important to research all the available options and find a reputable lender that will offer you a package that meets your needs.
You can use our Canada Student Loan comparison tool to see if your chosen school has one available - in just a few clicks. You can then learn about the terms and conditions and complete the application forms online with the lender.
Here are a few things you will want to consider when evaluating an offer:
Once your application has been checked you will be given details on your loan including your interest rate and how much you will be able to borrow, these items will vary depending on your situation and the lender you are working with.
If your application is successful the funds are usually disbursed directly to your university to pay your tuition fees. This usually takes about 6 weeks.
You may borrow up to the total cost of attendance – which is calculated by the financial aid office at your Canadian university – minus any other money you receive in the form of scholarships, awards etc.
Repayment terms will vary and this example is for informative use only. This is not a guarantee of costs as they will be based on your circumstances and your lender's rates.
An international graduate student who borrows $10,000 dollars at an interest rate of 12.49% (13.63% APR) can expect to repay $100.54 a month while they are studying and for the first 6 months post graduation. After this, the monthly payments would increase to $141.62 for the 10-year repayment period based on an interest-only in school repayment plan.
To learn about the different types of International Student Loans see: