Once you've graduated and landed your first job, paying back your student loan will have to become one of your top priorities. You'll need to figure out a repayment plan based on your budget and learn how to stick to it.
Luckily, there are many ways to make your repayment plan work for you and your family. Whether it's applying for interest relief or reducing your monthly payment to spread your plan over a longer period of time, no matter your financial situation, you can make sure you keep your obligation to pay back your student aid.
Why It's a Good Idea
By paying back your student aid, you'll avoid additional interest charges, loss of future student aid and grant assistance, collections, a bad credit rating, and loss of future income tax refunds and GST rebates.
Contacts & Resources
National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC)
Canada Student Loan
Provincial Student Grants and Loans
Links to all provincial student loan websites are here.
Learn more about student aid and education planning information here.
Grace Period – Canada and Provincial Student Loans
You have a period of six months starting on the first day of the month following your last day of full-time studies. During this time you do not need to make any payments on your student loans.
During the grace period, interest does not begin to accrue on your federal Canada Student Loan or your provincial loan.
You can make payments during the grace period. In this time, you pay down your loan principal and reduce the interest charged.
Repayment Period Beginning – Interest Rates
When your repayment begins, loans are charged the floating interest rate by default. It is possible to convert to a fixed interest rate, however, once it is changed you are set at the fixed rate (which can be higher, please get all of the information prior to doing this) for the life of your loan.
Effective April 2021, the Government of Canada has suspended the accumulation of interest on Canada Student Loans until March 31, 2023.
To estimate how much your loan will be, click here.
Note: You can claim a tax credit for the interest you pay.
Making Payments and Paying Off Your Loan
Payments made while in school and during the six-month grace period are applied directly to the loan principal. The same applies to any amounts you pay over and above your minimum monthly payment. Extra payments can be made anytime online by adding National Student Loan Service Centre to your bill payment list – you use your loan number as your account number.
Debt Management Techniques
- Customized Repayment: Increase or decrease your payments
- Revision of Terms: Extend the repayment period
- Repayment Assistance Plan – RAP: Affordable payments or no payments for six-month periods
- Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Federal Permanent Disability – RAP-PD
Note: Students with loans from Prince Edward Island or Manitoba must also apply for repayment assistance within their province. Contact your provincial or territorial student aid office to find out more.
Repayment Assistance Program
You can make affordable payments (or no payments) toward the loan principal. Your monthly payment will never exceed 20% of family income. Apply here.
Note: Students with loans from Prince Edward Island or Manitoba must also apply for repayment assistance with their province. Contact your provincial or territorial student aid office to find out more.
Repayment Assistance Eligibility
To learn more about the RAP, your eligibility, income thresholds, and repayment estimates, read here.