Foreign Credential Recognition Loans
Relaunch your career in Canada
Do you need money to pay for your licensing or certification? Let us help you get back to your career!
We offer low-interest Foreign Credential Recognition Loans to newcomers with limited or no credit, no collateral and who can’t get a loan from banks and other financial institutions.
You can borrow up to $15,000 for education and career expenses, such as:
- Courses and exams (you do not need proof of acceptance to qualify)
- Books and course materials
- Qualification assessments
- Association fees
- Professional certification
- Accreditation costs
- Bridge training
- Living expenses and other education costs not covered by OSAP
By working with our financial partner, Alterna Savings and Credit Union, we can help improve your credit rating. This means as you pay off your loan, you’ll establish a Canadian credit score, which gives you more options for future borrowing.
- 18 years or older
- Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Convention Refugee with a legal right to work in Canada
- Born outside Canada
- Has post-secondary qualifications from outside Canada e.g. a degree, diploma etc.
- Demonstrated financial need i.e. unable to obtain a similar loan due to limited or no credit history
- Not in active consumer proposal or bankruptcy, or has been discharged for at least 6 months
- Up-to-date with, and not owing taxes to, Canada Revenue Agency or child support to the Family Responsibility Office or provide proof of ongoing payments for at least three consecutive months
Application and Required Documents
Complete this application and submit:
- Credit report and score from Equifax*
- Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency*
- Copies of all your post-secondary credentials (degree, diploma and/or certificates)
- Proof of acceptance for the training, courses or certification program to be taken
- Two pieces of valid photo ID, e.g. Driver’s License, PR Card (front and back) *please note we do not accept health cards*
- Proof of residence, e.g. utility bill, lease agreement or bank statement
- Proof of income from either employment, personal savings or other sources such as government assistance
- 6 month bank statements from a Canadian bank
*If you arrived in Canada recently and have no credit history or Notice of Assessment, we can still assist you.
Once you’ve submitted your online application, you’ll be asked to email the supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foreign Credential Recognition Loans FAQs:
Who is eligible for your loans?
- Canadian citizen, permanent resident or convention refugee/protected person, at least 18 years old, legally able to work in Canada and resident of the Greater Toronto Area or Hamilton.
- Demonstrate financial need or inability to get a loan from a bank (We will assess this on an individual basis, considering your income, debt and other factors.)
- Be up-to-date with, and not owing taxes to Canada Revenue Agency or child support to the Family Responsibility Office, or provide proof of ongoing payments for at least three consecutive months
- Not be in a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, or discharged for less than six months
How much can I borrow?
For a foreign credential recognition loan, you can borrow up to $15,000 for career-related expenses.
Are there other fees?
All clients will need to open an Alterna Savings account to receive the funds, which also has a small fee to open ($15), similar to most bank accounts.
You may be charged additional fees for paying your loan late.
How much is your interest?
Our interest rate is prime plus 1.9% for foreign credential recognition loans. (Prime is the standard rate which banks charge, which can change and affect the overall interest rate.)
How long do I have to pay back the loan?
For a foreign credential recognition loan, you have up to four years to repay.
Our loans are open, which means you can pay them back early without additional fees or interest. Interest will be calculated up to the time you decide to pay off the loan if it’s before the given term.
What documents do you require?
• Credit report and score from Equifax*
• Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency*
• Copies of all your post-secondary credentials (degree, diploma and/or certificates)
• Proof of acceptance for the training, courses or certification program to be taken
• Two pieces of valid photo ID, e.g. Driver’s License, PR Card (front and back) or Notice of Decision
• Proof of residence, e.g. utility bill, lease agreement or bank statement
• Proof of income, e.g. pay stubs, bank statements etc.
*If you arrived in Canada recently and have no credit history or Notice of Assessment, we can still assist you. Please contact us if you are not sure.
Which professions qualify for foreign credential recognition loans?
We assist with both regulated (e.g. healthcare) and unregulated professions (e.g. finance). We’ll need to see that your qualifications were obtained outside of Canada and that the training or certification you want to take is not eligible or already covered by government programs such as OSAP.
We help people launch new careers too! This is your chance to work towards your dream job or career. We only ask that you’ve researched the job market and are confident that you’ll be successfully employed once you finish your certification or licensing.
How can an ACCESS loan improve my credit?
When you’re approved for an ACCESS loan, you’ll open an account with our financial partner Alterna Savings. They’ll perform a credit check and will report your loan repayment to Equifax. As long as you pay your loan on time according to the terms, you’ll start building a positive credit rating.
Do I need to come in person to submit my application?
The loan application process can be completed wherever you are. However, once you’ve been approved for a loan you will need to visit our financial partner, Alterna Savings at 800 Bay Street to finalize your loan.
We will arrange the appointment for you, based on your availability during weekdays.
After your loan account is set up you can choose to go to any Alterna location that’s convenient for you or do your transactions online, including the loan repayment.