Bankruptcy and Student Loans in BC

Understanding Bankruptcy and Student Loans in BC

With a growing number of students finding themselves under the burden of education-related debt, discussions about Bankruptcy and Student Loans in BC have become increasingly prevalent. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of bankruptcy on student loans, the available options for managing student debt, and the implications for future financial assistance.

Impact of Bankruptcy on Student Loans

Immediate Repayment Imposed

When you declare bankruptcy, your Canada and B.C. student loans are instantly transitioned into a repayment status. You’re then required to commence payments on your loans, unless you’re continuing with the same course of studies.

Long-Term Ineligibility for Student Aid BC

The declaration of bankruptcy can lead to lengthy periods of ineligibility for further StudentAid BC funding. It may take up to 10 years (or 8 years under financial hardship conditions) after leaving post-secondary studies before you’re eligible again.

Rising Education Costs and Increasing Student Debt

As tuition fees and associated costs rise, the number of students exiting Canadian universities and colleges with substantial debt is also increasing. As such, student debt bankruptcies and the need for student debt help are becoming more common.

Discharge of Student Loans in Bankruptcy

The Seven-year Rule

As per the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, student debt is automatically discharged in a bankruptcy in Canada if you haven’t been a student for at least seven years. This duration can be reduced to five years under instances of financial hardship. However, the burden of proof rests on you to demonstrate that repaying your loan is causing significant ongoing financial difficulty.

Settlement of Student Loans in a Consumer Proposal

The seven-year limit also applies to consumer proposals unless your loan provider decides otherwise. This means your student debt will not be automatically discharged or released unless it has been more than seven years since you attended school. However, lenders cannot collect on student debt while a debtor is in a consumer proposal due to the protections provided by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Obtaining a Student Loan Post Bankruptcy

After bankruptcy, you may face some challenges if you intend to enroll in school again. You may find it difficult to secure a loan or qualify for financial assistance. However, if your past insolvency proceedings didn’t involve student debt, your ability to obtain a student loan might not be affected.

Alternative Student Loan Advice and Strategies

If your student debt is causing financial hardship, there are alternative remedies available that don’t require resorting to a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

Repayment Assistance Programs

The federal government’s Repayment Assistance Plan can help manage student loan debt by allowing borrowers to pay back what they can reasonably afford. If you have a provincial or territorial government student loan, you can contact your provincial/territorial student financial assistance office to inquire about their repayment assistance programs.

The Hardship Provision

The “hardship provision” allows for an early discharge of student loan debts if you’ve been a student five or more years ago and have been bankrupt. This provision is applicable if you acted in good faith concerning your obligation to repay your student loans and have experienced, and will continue to experience, financial difficulty preventing you from repaying these debts.


Understanding the implications of Bankruptcy and Student Loans in BC is crucial for students facing financial challenges. It’s important to explore all available options, including bankruptcy, consumer proposals, and alternative debt strategies before making any decisions.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.