The Resident Loan Interest Relief Program (RLIRP) provides eligible medical school residents with financial assistance during a critical time of their professional practice. Under this program, Ontario medical residents are not required to pay principal or interest on government students loans granted from any Canadian jurisdiction during the period of a medical residency. In return, the participating residents agree to provide physician services in Ontario for five years following the completion of the medical residency.

Participation requirements

There are 2 requirements for participation in the RLIRP. The participant must enter into:

  1. a Return of Service (ROS) Agreement with the Ministry of Health (MOH)
  2. a Medical Resident Loan (MRL) Agreement with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU)

The MRL is a loan granted under the authority of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act (MCU Act) to eligible Ontario medical residents. The purpose of a MRL is to discharge the medical resident's outstanding government student loans from the government of Canada, the province of Ontario or other Canadian provinces/territories. Under the RLIRP, there will be no requirement to repay the principal of the MRL during the period of the Ontario medical residency. The MOH will pay the interest on the MRL on the resident’s behalf.

Eligibility requirements

Resident Loan Interest Relief Program

To be eligible for the RLIRP, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • be a registered Ontario medical resident
  • have outstanding Canadian government student loans (for example, student loans from the government of Canada, the province of Ontario or another province/territory)
  • have signed and returned the Return of Service (ROS) Agreement to the RLIRP Application Centre
    • under this agreement, you need to agree to provide Ontario with 5 years of physician services within 1 year of completion of medical residency, and have been approved by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) for a Medical Resident Loan (MRL)

Note: Failure to fulfill the ROS Agreement will result in the Ministry of Health (MOH) seeking immediate recovery of all loan interest paid on your behalf during medical residency.

Medical Resident Loan

To be eligible for a MRL, in addition to being an Ontario Medical Resident and signing the ROS Agreement, you must:

  • be in compliance with the repayment requirements for the outstanding Canadian government student loans and have maintained the loans in good standing
  • have not been determined by MCU, the government of Canada or any other provincial/territorial government to be in arrears or default of a student loan or any other amount owed to the Crown in respect of the relevant jurisdiction
  • have not been found to be ineligible for an Ontario Student Loan under Ontario Regulation 268/01 made under the MCU Act

Application process

Applications must be submitted between June and September of each year. Applicants must submit a fully completed RLIRP/MRL application form to the RLIRP Application Centre.

The application includes an area for applicants to list government student loans (federal and provincial/territorial) and estimated loan balances. The RLIRP Application Centre will contact the student loan service provider responsible for administering the loans to confirm the balances and repayment status.

If you are confirmed to be eligible for a MRL, the RLIRP Application Centre will forward a MRL Agreement to you.

You must sign the MRL Agreement where required and return it to the RLIRP Application Centre. After receipt and review of the completed MRL Agreement, your Canadian government student loans will be paid out with your MRL.

On behalf of the Province of Ontario, you will receive a letter from the RLIRP Loan Centre informing you of the pay out of your government student loans with the Medical Resident Loan, the initial balance of your Medical Resident loan, and approval for the RLIRP/MRL.

The application portal will be available on this page from June 1 to September 30 each year.

About the Return of Service Agreement

If you are accepted into the program, applicants will receive a copy of the Return of Service (ROS) Agreement from the RLIRP application centre .

It is important to note the following concerning the terms of the Return of Service Agreement:

  • Eligible community for Return of Service is the entire province of Ontario without restriction.
  • Fellowships are not covered by the program. Fellows are required to assume responsibility for payments (principal and interest) on government loans upon commencement of their fellowship. Participants who go directly from residency into practice must also start paying their loans.
  • Maternity/Paternity leaves are allowed for a period of up to 1 year.
  • Locums are permitted for a period of up to 1 year.
  • Out-of Province Sub-specialty Training is allowed. Upon completion of sub-specialties, applicants must begin practicing in Ontario within one year from the date the applicant completed the sub-specialty training.
  • Full time hours are a requirement of this Return of Service and are negotiated with your employer. Full time hours are defined as a minimum average of 30 hours per week, although in most specialties additional hours maybe required beyond 30 hours to qualify as full time.
  • Other Return of Service Agreements signed by applicants are served concurrently, however applicants must adhere to the more restrictive Return of Service Agreement.
  • Relief Efforts Overseas are not currently eligible under this Return of Service, however, MOH is investigating how it might allow program participants to practice relief roles abroad.
  • Breach of the Return of Service Agreement will require the repayment of interest paid on your behalf, interest on that amount, and an administration cost of up to $4,000.00.

About the Medical Resident Loan

If you are granted a Medical Resident Loan (MRL), you will be exempt from making monthly principal payments during the period of your Ontario medical residency. The Ministry of Health (MOH) will pay the monthly loan interest rate of prime plus 1% on your behalf.

Any outstanding Ontario Student Opportunity Grant that has not been applied to your Ontario Student Loans will continue to be processed and applied against the balance of your MRL.

You must enter into a repayment agreement to repay the MRL principal and interest within 30 days of completing of your Ontario Medical Residency, or with 30 days of discontinuing enrolment in the Ontario medical resident program (for example, if you became a medical resident of another jurisdiction).

The RLIRP Loan Centre will contact you by mail approximately four to six weeks prior to the expected end of your Ontario medical residency and inform you of the terms of repayment. You will be asked to sign a MRL Repayment Agreement. If you do not sign the MRL Repayment Agreement, your MRL will still enter into repayment status.

If you shorten or extend your Ontario medical residency from the original expected end date you must promptly notify the RLIRP Loan Centre.

Resident Loan Interest Relief Program additional resources

For more information

For more information about the program you can reach out:

  • by phone: 1-833-435-4151 (available Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST)
  • by fax: 1-866-951-2215
  • by email: rlirp@accerta.ca
  • by mail at:
    • Resident Loan Interest Relief Program
      PO Box # 127, Toronto "P"
      Toronto, Ontario
      M5S 2S7