Tips for students coping with financial stress

Many people are experiencing financial stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this pressure can be especially challenging when you are a student who is also trying to keep your studies on track.  

Here are some resources for you to support yourself and your household at this difficult time.

  1. Income assistance

    If your income has been negatively affected as a result of COVID-19, the federal government has announced a range of emergency financial supports for Canadians, including Employment Insurance, Emergency Support and Canada Child Benefit, among others. Please consult the government’s website for more information. 

  2. Student loans

    The federal government has stated, “Effective March 30, 2020, all student loan borrowers will automatically have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.” Also, if you don’t yet have a student loan but now need one, “students who are currently studying can continue to apply for Canada Student Loans. There will be no change to the application process. If a borrower wishes to apply for student financial assistance during the pause, they should apply through their Province or Territory of residence”.

    The provincial government also announced it is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the payment of student loans. The pause will be in effect until September 30 and there will be the ability to reapply for further assistance in the coming months.

  3. OSAP Questions

    George Brown employees continue to work remotely to help you with your OSAP applications. If you have OSAP-related questions, please message FinAid@georgebrown.ca.

  4. Food

    Grocery and convenience stores remain open as essential services. If possible, order groceries online to maintain physical isolation. If needed, you can also access the Daily Bread Food Bank, which is operating with special precautionary measures.

  5. Housing

    Mortgages: As of March 18, 2020, six of Canada’s big banks announced financial relief on a case-by-case basis for Canadians negatively affected by COVID-19. See links on the Canadian Bankers Association for more details.

    Rentals: If you are having trouble paying your rent, ask your landlord whether they qualify for mortgage deferral by their bank, to buy yourself some time. If you are looking for alternative housing arrangements, there are student-friendly rental options at Places4Students.com.

  6. Taxes

    The deadline to file your individual income tax and benefit return has been deferred until June 1, 2020. The deadline to pay any balance you may owe to the Canadian Revenue Agency has been extended to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assigned any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1. Stay connected to the CRA’s COVID-19 page for details and updates as they arise.

  7. Reducing expenses

    For tips on how to sort your monthly expenses, see this COVID-19 financial tip sheet prepared by the New School of Finance and Money Management tips from George Brown’s Financial Aid office.

  8. Legal support

    The Student Association provides legal support related to financial and other issues. See the Student Association website for more information and email Bill Reid at legal@sagbc.ca for consultation and advice.