Student Line of Credit

University and college students can obtain a substantial amount of financing for education through student lines of credit offered by Canadian chartered banks. A credit line is different from a loan because you don't have to borrow the full amount at once. You can withdraw money from your line of credit as you need it, much like using a credit card.

Student lines of credit are designed to accommodate the special needs of postsecondary students. The banks allow students to defer payment of principal for up to one year after graduation. Although you must make interest payments on the borrowed amount during this period, you have time to complete your studies and find a job before starting to repay the principal. Student lines of credit also tend to have lower interest rates than other non-governmental forms of borrowing.

Details about lines of credit available to undergraduate students are listed below (the banks also offer credit lines designed for many graduate programs). If interested, you can apply online, over the phone or at your local bank branch. Please note that the figures below may change, so consult your financial institution for updates.

Bank
(Link to Website)
Annual Credit Limit
Total Credit Limit
Minimum Interest Rate
Deferral Period *
Maximum Repayment Period
Bank of Montreal
$15,00 in first year; $10,000 afterwards
$45,000
Prime + 2%
1 year
7 years
CIBC
$15,000 full-time; $7,500 part-time
$40,000
n/a
1 year
20 years
Desjardins
$10,000 full-time; $5,000 part-time
$40,000 full-time; $20,000 part-time
Prime + 1.5%
6 months
10 years
Laurentian Bank
$5,500
$20,000
n/a
1 year
7 years
National Bank
n/a
n/a
Prime + 2%
1 year
7 years
Royal Bank
starting at $5,000
n/a
Prime + 1%
1 year
n/a
Scotia Bank
$10,000 full-time; $5,000 part-time
$40,000 full-time; $20,000 part-time
Prime + 1%
1 year
n/a
TD Canada Trust
$10,000 full-time; $5,000 part-time
$40,000
n/a
1 year
20 years

  Notes:  * = refers to length of time after graduation for deferral of principal repayment
              n/a = not specified, depends on terms of individual agreement