Canada Student Loans and Grants
Repaying Your Loans
Are you graduating or leaving school? Do you have a loan for full-time studies, but plan to change your status to part-time? Then it's time to start planning your loan repayment.
Understanding your loan
Your government student loan may have come from:
- the federal government; and/or
- your provincial or territorial government.
This means you could have more than one loan to pay back. Contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) or your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office for more information - visit CanLearn.ca for a contact list.
Setting up repayment
Before you are required to start making loan payments, you'll receive either a repayment letter or a consolidation agreement in the mail, depending on your province or territory of permanent residence.
If you receive a repayment letter, it will outline the terms of your loan repayment. If you would like to change the terms, contact the NSLSC to discuss your options. If you are satisfied with the terms, no further action is required on your part.
If you receive a consolidation agreement, you'll have to make a number of decisions, including the type of interest rate (fixed or floating) and how long you'll take to repay your Canada Student Loan. Depending on how many loans you have, you might receive another consolidation agreement by mail for your provincial or territorial student loan.
You don't have to make any payments on your Canada Student Loan until six months after you leave school, but interest will be added to your loan during these six months. However, you can begin making payments early, which will save you on interest charges in the long run.
Managing your loan payments
Generally, you have up to 9.5 years to repay your loan. If you need to reduce your monthly payment amount, you may request an extended repayment period of up to 14.5 years through a Revision of Terms. By giving yourself more time to pay off your loan, you will reduce your monthly payment, but you will end up paying more in interest. Contact the NSLSC to discuss the best option for you.
Helping you repay your loan
Missing payments can have serious and long-term consequences. Contact the NSLSC before you miss a payment.
The federal government can provide you with a number of options, such as the Repayment Assistance Plan or the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability.
Under these plans, your payments could be lowered or put on hold until you can afford them. You must apply for this assistance - enrolment is not automatic. There are three ways to apply:
- apply online through your National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) account (you can register for an online account 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 NSLSC at 1-888-815-4514 to be mailed an application.
Please note that if you are applying for the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD), the RAP-PD Expenses Form is available through all the three methods mentioned above.
- Your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office
- National Student Loans Service Centre
Toll Free: 1 888 815-4514 (within North America)
800 2 225-2501 (outside North America)
TTY: 1 888 815-4556
- 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
Note: This publication reflects information and policies in effect at the time of printing. For the latest information, visit CanLearn.ca.
You can order this publication by contacting:
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage
Phase IV, 10th Floor
This document is available on demand in alternative formats (large print, Braille, audio cassette, audio CD, e-text diskette, e-text CD, or DAISY), by contacting 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a teletypewriter (TTY), call 1-800-926-9105.
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2011
Cat. No: HS48-7/2010
Cat. No: HS48-7/2010E-PDF