Family Doctors and Nurses Can Get Canada Student Loan Forgiveness
Many rural and remote communities in Canada lack the primary health care they need. That’s why, starting in April 2013, the Government of Canada will offer Canada Student Loan forgiveness to eligible family doctors, residents in family medicine, nurse practitioners, and nurses who work in rural or remote communities. This change will help more Canadians get the health care they deserve.
As a family doctor or resident in family medicine, you could receive up to $8,000 per year in Canada Student Loan forgiveness to a maximum of $40,000 over five years.
As a nurse practitioner or nurse, you could receive up to $4,000 per year in Canada Student Loan forgiveness to a maximum of $20,000 over five years.
To be eligible for Canada Student Loan forgiveness you need to have:
- started your current employment (full-time, part-time or casual) as an eligible medical professional (family doctor, resident in family medicine, nurse practitioner, or nurse) in a designated rural or remote community on or after July 1, 2011;
- been employed for a full year (12 consecutive months that ended on March 31, 2013 or later) in a designated community (this does not apply to residents in family medicine) ;
- provided in-person services for a minimum of 400 hours (or 50 days) in that community;
- a Canada Student Loan in repayment and in good standing (payments are up to date); and
- submitted an application for Loan Forgiveness for Doctors and Nurses Practicing in Under-Served Rural or Remote Communities.
Am I an eligible medical professional?
If you practice as one of the medical professionals listed below you could be eligible for Canada Student Loan forgiveness:
- family doctor;
- family medicine resident in training with an accredited medical school in Canada;
- registered nurse;
- registered psychiatric nurse;
- registered practical nurse;
- licensed practical nurse; or
- nurse practitioner.
How do I know if the community where I work is designated?
How do I apply for Canada Student Loan forgiveness for family doctors and nurses?
Once you have completed one year of service in a designated community, you have 90 days to apply for loan forgiveness. Applications for Loan Forgiveness for Doctors and Nurses Practicing in Under-Served Rural or Remote Communitieswill be accepted on or after April 1, 2013Go to footnote 1, and are now available online. Paper versions are also available through the National Student Loans Service Centre.
What are my responsibilities?
During your one year of service, your Canada Student Loan remains in repayment status and you must continue to make your regular monthly payments. Once your application for loan forgiveness has been approved, your Canada Student Loan balance will be reduced. Your monthly payments will also be reduced unless you opt out on your application form. You can request changes to your monthly payments at any time by contacting the National Student Loans Service Centre.
Need more information?
Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions on Canada Student Loan forgiveness for doctors and nurses.
1 To meet the 12-month employment criterion, the earliest this benefit will date back to is April 1, 2012 (for borrowers who began working in a designated community no earlier than July 1, 2011). (Return to reference 1)