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Today, Minister Qualtrough highlighted a new measure to help student borrowers manage financial burdens they may face when taking temporary medical or parental leave from their studies—including for mental health reasons. This measure, which was announced as part of Budget 2019, is effective as of October 1, 2020. Borrowers who are approved under this new measure will benefit from a suspension of payments and interest on their Canada Student Loans for six months, which can be extended up to a total of 18 months of leave. More than 7,000 borrowers will benefit from this new measure.

To be eligible for medical or parental leave, borrowers must:

  • At the time of their application, be in full-time or part-time studies, or in the six-month non-repayment period;
  • Submit a Medical or Parental Leave application within six months of the end of their most recent period of studies, and no later than 12 months after the medical or parental event;
  • Have taken a leave from studies for medical or parental reasons on or after October 1, 2020; and,
  • Be at least 30 calendar days into a new confirmed period of study following any previous medical or parental leave.

To note, when a part-time student with both part-time and full-time Canada student loans is approved for medical or parental leave, only their part-time loans will be put on leave. Payments and interest will continue on the student’s full-time loans.