Repayment Assistance Plan – How it works

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Current status: Repayment assistance for student loan borrowers

How it works

If you are having financial difficulty and cannot make your payments, the Government of Canada can help you pay towards your loan through these plans:

Depending on your income, you may qualify for reduced payments or no payments at all.

You can apply for repayment assistance as soon as you start to repay your student loans and anytime while in repayment. You must re-apply every 6 months to stay eligible.

If approved for RAP, the Government of Canada will:

  • pay the interest owing on your outstanding loan that your reduced payment does not cover, and
  • start to pay down both the principal and interest after 60 months of RAP or 10 years after you finish school

If you are on RAP-D, the government will pay down both the principal and interest that your reduced monthly payments do not cover.

As long as you stay eligible for repayment assistance, the balance of your loan will continue to be paid down until it is paid in full. The maximum amount of time a borrower can be in repayment after leaving school in most cases is:

  • 15 years, and
  • 10 years for persons with a disability

If you go back to school

Once the federal government has paid towards your principal payment while you are on RAP, you cannot receive more student grants or loans. You will need to pay your unpaid loans back before you can apply for more. You can still get interest-free status for your existing student loans if you return to school.

This does not apply if you are on RAP-D.

As certain restrictions may still apply to your provincial or territorial loan, please contact your province or territory for more information.

Contact us to discuss your options

Contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) to discuss your options. Borrowers from Manitoba and Prince Edward Island will also need to contact their province.

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