Pacific Leaders B.C. Loan Forgiveness
If you're a regular full or part-time employee of the BC Public Service, have completed your probation, and have B.C. student loans in good standing, you may apply for this program.
If you plan on applying for the Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness program, any payments you make prior to your approval won't be used in the calculation for eligibility. In other words, you won't be eligible for Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness on payments made prior to your loan forgiveness application being reviewed and approved.
If you direct a payment towards your Integrated student loan, the amount is applied against the federal and British Columbia portions.
This program is available to BC Public Service employees. You're eligible to apply if:
- You have a Canada-B.C. integrated student loan in good standing and in repayment.
- You have passed your six month initial probationary period and are a regular full or part-time employee of a BC Public Service employer. This includes all ministries and any organization that is enabled under the Public Service Act.
You are not eligible to apply if you're an auxiliary or casual employee, or if you're appointed as political staff as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Political Staff. If you're unsure of your employment status, please contact AskMyHR by submitting a service request using the category My Team or Organization > Employee & Labour Relations > Other Issues & Inquiries.
Employees of the broader public sector are also ineligible, including:
- Health authorities (such as VIHA)
- School districts and universities
- Crown corporations (for example, Community Living BC, BC Hydro)
- Other municipal or federal governments (for example, police)
These organizations have their own terms and conditions of employment. If you're not sure if an organization is an eligible employer, please check before you take a new job. Taking a position at an ineligible organization will mean you're no longer eligible. If you have any questions, email StudentAidBC.
How It Works
- Apply for the program and continue to make payments on your Canada-B.C. integrated student loans until you're registered and notified in writing by StudentAid BC. Only the B.C. portion of the Canada-B.C. integrated student loan is eligible for Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness.
- Probation completion will be verified by ensuring your start date as a regular employee was at least six months ago. Applicants who fail to meet this criteria won't be approved. If you believe your initial probation period was completed earlier than that (for example, during time worked as an auxiliary before becoming a regular employee), you're required to prove this by including a scanned, signed copy of the official “Completion of Probation” letter provided by your supervisor with your application.
Applications are processed within 4-6 weeks from the date they're received and a letter will be posted to the applicant’s dashboard once processed. When a document (in this case, a letter) is posted to the dashboard, an email is automatically sent to notify the applicant that there are pending notices for review.
- Once registered in the program, the B.C. portion of your Canada-B.C. integrated student loan is put on "interest free" status for the next three years as long as you remain eligible. You make no further payments on that portion of your loan. At the end of each year, one third of your total B.C. student loan debt at time of registration will be forgiven.
- As long as you continue to meet program eligibility criteria and your employment status doesn't change, you'll remain in the program with an "interest free" status. After three years, your entire B.C. student loan will be forgiven.
- During the time you're enrolled in the Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness program, the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) will communicate to you what you owe on your Canada and B.C. loans.
- You must complete the 12 months of employment as a regular employee to receive any loan forgiveness, as well as the "interest free" subsidy.
Loan forgiveness is not a taxable benefit.
The Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness program is a different program than federal or provincial programs offering loan forgiveness to doctors and nurses who practice in remote and rural areas of the province.
If your B.C. portion is not up to date, you'll need to bring your loan into good standing and email StudentAidBC with a clearance letter from the federal government case management unit of the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) proving you're no longer in default to be eligible for Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness.
Leaves & Change in Employment
Loan forgiveness isn't pro-rated. If you leave government in the middle of the year, you're not eligible for the "interest free" status, and the interest paid on your behalf will be added to the outstanding loan principal.
You must start making payments on the B.C. portion of your Canada-B.C. integrated student loan and aren't entitled to any portion of the loan forgiveness.
If you're in part-time studies, your repayment status means you're eligible for the Loan Forgiveness program. If you return to full-time studies, then you're not eligible because you'll be in “interest free,” non-payment status during that time. You can re-apply when you return to work.
- For less than 3 months during the 12 month “service” period being reviewed, you're eligible for loan forgiveness
- For 3 months or more during the 12 month “service” period being reviewed, you're ineligible to receive loan forgiveness and will be removed from the program
Employees on general leave can't apply while on leave, but are invited to apply or reapply to the program once they return to work.