Repayment Assistance Plan
The Repayment Assistance Plan is available to borrowers who are having difficulty paying back their student loans. The Plan makes it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their student loans by allowing them to pay back only what they can reasonably afford.
Under the Repayment Assistance Plan:
- Borrowers make Definition of affordable student loan payments based on their gross family income and family size. Loan payments do not exceed 20 percent of a borrower's gross family income.
- Borrowers' payments are applied to the loan principal first; the Government of Canada covers the rest of the payment.
- Some borrowers may not have to make any payments until their income increases.
- Borrowers will have a maximum repayment period of 15 years (or 10 years for qualified borrowers with permanent disabilities).
- Borrowers must apply for the Plan every six months. Enrolment is not automatic.
To estimate your monthly payment, use the Repayment Assistance Estimator.
How does the Repayment Assistance Plan work?
The Repayment Assistance Plan has two stages to help student borrowers fully repay their student loan within a maximum of 15 years (or 10 years for qualified borrowers with permanent disabilities). Borrowers who miss a payment while on the Plan will be restricted from receiving any additional repayment assistance and/or Canada Student Loans and Grants until they have made up for the missed payments and have brought their account back up-to-date.
- During stage 1, the Government of Canada covers the interest amount owing that the borrower's affordable payment does not cover. This may last for up to 5 years, or 60 months during the 10 year period after a borrower leaves school.
- Stage 2 is for borrowers who continue to experience financial difficulty. It starts once the borrower completes stage 1, or has been in repayment for 10 years after he or she leaves school. The Government of Canada continues to cover the interest and begins to cover a portion of the principal amount. The balance of the loan is gradually paid off so that no student loan debt remains after 15 years of leaving school (or 10 years for qualified borrowers with a Information for students with a permanent disability).
- Once borrowers are approved for and receive a stage 2 benefit, they cannot receive additional student loans and grants until their existing student loans have been paid in full. However, they are still eligible for interest-free student status for their existing student loans.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the Repayment Assistance Plan you must be a resident of Canada. You are also eligible if:
- you and/or your spouse or common-law partner is a member of the Armed Forces stationed abroad; or
- you and/or your spouse or common-law partner is participating in an International Internship Program.
How do I apply?
You must apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan; enrolment is not automatic. To maintain your eligibility, you must re-apply every six months. There are three ways to apply:
- apply on line through your National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) account (you can register for an online account first if you do not have one already);
- download an application from the Forms Section, fill it out, and mail or fax it to the NSLSC; or
- call the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) at 1-888-815-4514 to be mailed an application.