Types of Loans

The amount in Direct Loan funds that you are eligible to borrow each academic year is limited by your grade level; whether you are a dependent or an independent student; your financial need; and your cost of attendance.

Direct Loans

Direct Loans can be:

Subsidised - The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan

  • while you’re in school at least half-time,
  • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
  • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

*Note: If you received a Direct Subsidized Loan that was first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.

Unsubsidised - available to students who do not qualify for subsidised loans or to those that do, but require additional funds. You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Subsidised

Total (subsidised and unsubsidised)

Dependent undergraduate

First year

$3,500

$5,500

Second year

$4,500

$6,500

Third year and beyond

$5,500

$7,500

Independent undergraduate

First year

$3,500

$9,500

Second year

$4,500

$10,500

Third year

$5,500

$12,500

Graduate and professional students

All years of study

$0

$20,500 - unsubsidised only

Effective for loans first disbursed on or after 1st July 2012, the up-front interest rebate that has been provided to Direct Loan borrowers at the time of their loan disbursement will no longer be offered on any Direct Loan Program loan with a first disbursement date that is on or after July 1, 2012. Direct loan borrowers currently receive an up-front 0.5 percent interest rebate and Direct PLUS borrowers receive a 1.5 percent interest rebate, which they retain if they make their first monthly payments on time.

Parent PLUS

Parents of dependant undergraduate students are able to take out loans in their names to help with their children's education. It is credit based and the amount you are able to borrow is the cost of attendance minus any Direct Loan or other assistance related to your  enrolment, such as bursaries, scholarships, grants and awards.

Direct PLUS

Graduate students are able to take out PLUS loans. They are able to borrow the cost of attendance minus any Direct loans already taken out and other assistance related to the student's enrolment, such as bursaries, scholarships, grants and awards.