What is the Canada Apprentice Loan (CAL)?
CAL is loan funding offered by the government of Canada to apprentices in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship program who are enrolled in technical training. CAL is meant to help apprentices pay for tuition, tools, equipment, living expenses, cover forgone wages or support their family.
How can CAL help me?
If you meet the eligibility requirements for CAL you may receive:
- Up to $4,000 in loans per period of technical training;
- Up to 5 funded periods of technical training;
- Up to 6 years of interest-free status.
Am I eligible?
You are eligible for CAL if you:
- Are a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person;
- Are registered in a Red Seal trade apprentice program;
- Are enrolled in block release technical training of the equivalent full-time technical training (pre-apprenticeship, day release or part-time technical training are not eligible);
- Pass a credit check (required if you are applying for the first time).
How do I apply?
Starting January 2, 2015 you can apply for CAL online or by paper at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/apprentices.html . The Canada Apprentice Loan Service Centre (CALSC) will assess your application and, if approved, will administer your loan.
- To apply online:
You must first 'Register' for a CALSC Online Service account and then 'Sign In' to complete and submit your application. Applying online is quick and easy and will speed up application processing time. You will also be able to check your application status online, update your account profile and receive important updates.
- To apply using a paper application:
You can download an application from the website, complete it, and mail it to the CALSC. You must include copies of supporting documentation as detailed in the application.
What are the application deadlines?
The earliest that you can apply is 3 months before your technical training starts.
The latest that you can apply is the last day of your technical training.
How does repayment work?
- CAL is interest-free until you complete or terminate your apprenticeship program, up to a maximum of 6 years, as long as you provide confirmation that you are still a registered apprentice.
- CAL enters repayment when you are no longer confirmed as a registered apprentice:
- No payments are required for the first 6 months, but interest will accrue, which you can pay or add to your loan balance;
- You can choose a variable interest rate of prime plus 2.5% or a fixed interest rate of prime plus 5%;
- CAL is typically repaid over 9.5 years, but you have the choice to pay it off sooner, or take up to 14.5 years;
- If you face financial difficulty making payments, you may be able to take advantage of the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP), or other repayment assistance measures.
For more information visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/apprentices.html . You can apply for a Canada Apprentice Loan at this website as early as January 2, 2015.