Repay a student loan - How to start

COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.

Please read our latest notices:

Changes to support you during COVID-19

As of April 1, 2021, no interest will be charged on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans. This measure is temporary. For more information, please see the proposed changes in this year’s budget announcement.

Provincial interest rates may still apply. Contact the NSLSC or your province or territory to find out more.

Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as Temporary COVID-19 relief.

Start repaying 6 months after leaving school

After finishing school, there is a 6-month non-repayment period. No interest accrues on your loan during this time. When this period is over you have to start making payments on your Canada Student Loan. Temporary COVID-19 relief

Contact your province for information on interest charges to your provincial loan.

The 6-month non-repayment period starts after you:

  • finish your final school term
  • reduce from full-time to part-time studies
  • leave school or take time off school

If you need to take leave from your studies, you might qualify for Medical or Parental Leave.

Paying before the 6-month period ends

You can make payments at any time on your loan. You do not have to wait until after the 6-month period ends. If you pay off your loan before repayment starts, you will not pay any interest. Temporary COVID-19 relief

Choosing your repayment options

Within 6-months of finishing school, you will receive a package detailing your repayment options.

Log into your National Student Loans Service Center account to:

  • choose an interest rate option Temporary COVID-19 relief
  • change the day of the month the payments are withdrawn
  • change the payment frequency
  • change the bank account from which payments should be withdrawn

Pre-authorized payments will be withdrawn automatically from the bank account on file if you choose. To update your bank information or set up pre-authorized payments, log in to your NSLSC account. If you do not set up pre-authorized payments, you need to make other arrangements to ensure payments are made on time.

Choose an interest rate option Temporary COVID-19 relief

You have 2 interest rate options to choose from for your Canada Student Loan:

  • a floating interest rate equal to the prime rate, or
  • a fixed interest rate of the prime rate + 2%

The prime rate comes from the rates of the 5 largest Canadian banks. The highest and the lowest prime rates are removed, then an average of the remaining 3 is used.

Interest rates can change as the prime rate varies. Please log in to your NSLSC account for more information about the current interest rates.

Your student loan has a floating interest rate by default. You can change to a fixed interest rate at any time after you enter repayment. If you switch to a fixed rate, you can not change back to a floating rate. To choose a fixed interest rate anytime during your repayment period, contact us.

Use the repayment estimator to see how interest rates affect your monthly payment.

Repayment estimator

If you have a provincial part to your loan, it may be under a different interest rate. Contact your province for your current rates.

Still studying or in the Canadian Forces

As long as you are in school or a reservist in the Canadian Forces in a designated operation, you do not have to make payments on your student loans.

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