Stages of a Loan

There are three stages of a student loan once you are approved: in study, non-repayment and repayment.

In Study

While you are still in school, you are not required to make any payments and your loan is interest-free during this time. It is important to confirm your enrolment every year that you are in study to maintain your interest-free status.

Ensure your contact details are up-to-date with the NSLSC, and keep your province or territory informed of any changes to your financial situation, as that may impact the amount of financial assistance you receive.

View Confirmation of Enrolment details

Update your Profile and Contact details


This is the six-month period after your End of Study Date. Payments are not required at this time, but interest begins to accumulate on your student loan.

You can make a payment during this period, and the amount goes toward the principal on your loan, which helps decrease the total amount of interest you will pay over the life of your loan.

Make a payment


This is the period of paying back your student loan(s). Repayment begins six months after you leave school.

Repaying Your Loan

Never miss a loan payment by signing up for pre-authorized debit. It is the easiest way of ensuring your payments are made on time.

Impact of Missing Loan Payments

Missing payments on your student loan(s) can negatively affect your credit rating as well as incur additional costs. You could face additional interest charges. If you default on your loan, you could lose out on income tax refunds and be unable to obtain further grants or loans. In addition, you may have to deal with government collections.

Set up a payment schedule that works for your current financial situation.

Customize repayment terms

Repayment Assistance

If you are experiencing challenges making your monthly student loan payment, or if you are earning less than $25,000 per year (more for larger family sizes – see table below), you can apply for help through the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP). 

Depending on your financial situation, you may be approved for a reduced monthly payment, or for no monthly payment at all. 

Annual gross family income thresholds for zero payment under the RAP by family size
Family size Income threshold
1 $25,000
2 $39,052
3 $50,457
4 $59,512
5+ $67,825

If your income falls above these income thresholds, you may be eligible for a reduced monthly payment.

Learn more about the RAP or use the Repayment Assistance Estimator to see if you qualify for the RAP.

In Collection

If you default on your loan by missing payments for more than nine months, your loan will be sent to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for collection.

You can bring your loan back into good standing by applying for Loan Rehabilitation and making the necessary payments to the CRA.

Learn more about collection and applying for Loan Rehabilitation