Paying back your Canada Student Loan

Canada Student Loan borrowers in Fort McMurray

Are you affected by the wildfires and need help making your loan payments? Contact the National Student Loan Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514 to fast-track your application for the Repayment Assistance Plan.

It is time to start repaying your loan when you:

  • have graduated from your studies;
  • have transferred to part-time studies;
  • have left school; or
  • are taking time off school for more than six months.

For the first six months after you leave school, you will not have to make payments to your Canada Student Loan or your provincial student loan. This is called your six month non-repayment period. However, during this period, interest does accumulate. You can either choose to:

  • start making the interest payments right away;
  • pay the six months' interest as a lump sum before you start making your regular payments; or
  • have your loan providers add the interest amount to your loan total after the six month non-repayment period.

It is your responsibility to contact your loan provider(s) to set up a repayment schedule before you have to start making payments after the six month non-repayment period. Loan providers will try to contact you via mail or phone, but it is your obligation to set up and manage your loan payments should they not be able to reach you.

If you do not make contact, your loan payments may start to be automatically withdrawn after the six month non-repayment period from the same bank account where your loans were deposited (if you had arranged for direct deposit).

Create an online NSLSC account to stay in touch and keep your contact information up-to-date.

How to make payments

You will receive a notice that your loan repayments are about to begin. If you have not received anything by mail, make sure you contact your loan provider(s) before your six month non-repayment period is over. You will want to review all aspects of your loan(s) and finalize details concerning:

  • how much you owe;
  • the interest rate that will be applied to your loan(s);
  • the bank account you will use to repay the loan;
  • the monthly amount that will be withdrawn from your bank account;
  • the date it will be withdrawn (if you are set up for automatic withdrawals);
  • how to send monthly payments to your loan provider(s) (normally via cheque if you are not set up for automatic withdrawals); and
  • how long it will take to pay back your loan(s).

Monthly payments can be made either through automatic withdrawal , by cheque, online banking or telephone banking.

Set up a loan repayment schedule

Once you agree with the repayment schedule given to you by your loan provider, sign and return it. Payments will be withdrawn from your account on file even if they do not receive your signature.

Returning the repayment schedule gives you the opportunity to:

Where to make payments

In some provinces and territories, loans are issued separately by the federal and provincial/territorial governments. That means that you could have more than one loan to pay back.

If you received part-time student loans, you applied for and will be repaying a part-time Canada Student Loan. You will manage and repay your loan through the NSLSC.

If your loans were issued to you by:

British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Saskatchewan

Full-time students: You were given an "integrated" loan. In other words the money came from both the Government of Canada and your province. You will need to repay your loan through the National Student Loans Service Centre. You can see the status of your loan, update your contact information, change your monthly payment amount and apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan by registering for the NSLSC's On-Line Services.

If you received loans before August 2000, you may also have Canada Student Loans or provincial loans at a financial institution. See Special Circumstances.

Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island

Full-time students: You will be making payments on 2 loans: a federal student loan and a provincial student loan. That means you will have to stay in touch with at least 2 loan providers.

The federal student loan is managed through the NSLSC. This is where you will send your federal loan payments.

The provincial loan will be repaid through your province or one of the provincial loan service providers. Visit the Web site of your provincial student assistance office to discover the process or where to get help.

If you received loans before August 2000, you may also have Canada Student Loans or provincial loans at a financial institution. See Special Circumstances.

Quebec, Nunavut or Northwest Territories

You repay your loan through the student assistance office of your province or territory of residence. Your province or territory does not participate in the federal Canada Student Loans Program and as such operates its own student assistance plan which is partly funded by the federal government.

Yukon

Full-time students: You received a Canada Student Loan. Yukon does not offer a territorial student loan program. You will manage and repay your loan through the NSLSC.

Special circumstances

If you have received your student loan through a financial institution you must contact them directly and arrange to repay your loan.

Help to repay your loan

Need help in order to manage your student loan debt? Having difficulty repaying your student loan? Missing payments can have serious and long-term consequences.

The federal government can provide you with a number of repayment assistance options, which may lower your payments or put them on hold until you can afford them. Enrolment is not automatic so you must apply for this assistance.

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