coronavirusCOVID-19FinanceNova Scotia

Nova Scotia suspends student loan payments for six months

Students Nova Scotia says it is relieved to see the interest-free moratorium announced Friday

032020 - covid conference
From Left: Minister of Business Geoff MacLellan, Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. (Photo courtesy of Communications Nova Scotia)

The province of Nova Scotia is suspending student loan payments to help those feeling the financial pinch during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As of March 30, we will suspend Nova Scotia student loan payments for six months until Sept. 30,” said Premier Stephen McNeil Friday at a news conference. “Students do not have to apply, that will be automatic and become effective on March 30.”Students Nova Scotia is relieved to see the interest-free moratorium.

“Beyond finishing the semester, students are concerned about ongoing financial stability in the face of COVID-19,” said the group’s chair Mary Navas in a news release. “The job marketplace is already difficult for new and established graduates, but given the state of our economy in the face of this pandemic, job searches will be increasingly difficult.”

“Many students work part-time on and off campus, or in seasonal working positions, including in food service and hospitality. Students and graduates are rightfully concerned, and removing the burden of loan payments helps address these difficulties.”

Here’s the full list of measures announced by the province on March 20:

Effective immediately, government will invest $161 million to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia.

“I’ve put together a rapid response team to help us best understand the needs of small and medium-sized businesses and our first wave of supports is focused on those most immediately impacted,” said Mr. MacLellan. “We will take further steps as necessary.”

Government will defer payments until June 30 for:
— all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
— small business fees, including business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a list of fees will be posted online early next week)

Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, include:
— deferring principal and interest payments until June 30
— enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000
— those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000

Further measures include:
— small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days
— suspending payments on Nova Scotia student loans for six months, from March 30 to Sept. 30 and students do not have to apply
— ensuring more Nova Scotians can access the internet to work from home, by providing $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative and complete them as soon as possible

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days when they return to Nova Scotia. If you have been in close contact with someone who has travelled and are experiencing fever (above 38 C) and/or new cough should complete the online questionnaire before calling 811. The online questionnaire can be found at: https://811.novascotia.ca/

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .

Source
Halifax Today
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