Overview

Most students leave school with an Alberta student loan and a Canada student loan.

Having two loans means you need to handle two debts and two payment schedules.

Your Alberta loan is managed through MyLoan and your Canada loan is managed through the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) Online Services. You must create individual accounts through these websites and handle your repayments separately.

This is what the lifecycle of student loans looks like:

While you’re a student

Loans are interest-free and you don’t need to make payments.

Grace period

The first 6 months after you leave school, beginning the first day of the month after your end date

Loans are interest-free, and you don’t need to make payments.

Repayment

Begins 6 months after you leave school

Interest is added to your loan balance monthly.

Repayment begins. A monthly repayment schedule is set up for you automatically.


Start your loan repayment

Six months after you leave school, you’ll start repaying your loans. Your monthly payment is automatically calculated. Your repayment schedule depends on:

  1. Your loan balance (how much you owe)
  2. Your interest rate (the fee you pay to borrow money)
  3. Your repayment term (how many months it will take you to pay off your loans based on your repayment schedule)

Repayment term for Alberta loans

Repayment term for Canada loans

$0 - $3000

3 years

 

You can determine using the Government of Canada’s loan repayment estimator.

$3001 - $6000

8 years

$6001 and more

9.5 years


Customize your loan repayments

You can adjust your repayment details at any time to accommodate your life and financial situation.

You can:

  • change your repayment schedule to match when you get paid
  • adjust the frequency of your repayments from monthly to bi-weekly or weekly
  • increase or decrease your payment amount

To customize your repayment details:

Alberta loans

Canada loans

Use your MyLoan account

Use your NSLSC account

Change the frequency of payments by calling the
Student Aid Service Centre

Change the frequency of payments by calling the NSLSC

Learn more about adjusting repayment details.


Understand your interest rates

When you start paying back your loans, your interest is automatically set to a floating interest rate. You can view your interest rate in your MyLoan and NSLSC accounts.

A floating interest rate follow the current prime rate. If the prime rate changes, your interest rate also changes.

Prime rates

Prime rates are numbers set by Canadian banks that are used to determine interest rates across the country.

Alberta loans

Canada loans

Interest rates on Alberta loans depend on the prime rate set by CIBC

Interest rates on Canada loans depend on the prime rates set by the 5 biggest Canadian banks.

Fixed vs. floating interest rates

You can request to have a fixed interest rate. You can only make this change once. Contact the NSLSC or the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre for more information.

 

Alberta loans

Canada loans

Floating rate

CIBC prime rate plus 1%

Prime rate of Canadian banks

Fixed rate

CIBC prime rate plus 2%

Prime rate of Canadian banks plus 2%

To compare the cost of choosing floating and fixed rates, use the Government of Canada’s loan repayment estimator.

Get tax credits for interest paid

You may be eligible to receive a tax credit for interest paid on your student loans.


Missed payment consequences

Missing payments on your student loans has consequences. This can:

  • put your loans in default
  • lower your credit score
  • send your loans to collections
  • cause the government to take legal action against you
  • make you ineligible for future student loans

If you miss a payment on your loan, Student Aid will contact you by phone and email to help you get back on track.

If you have trouble making payments, contact Student Aid to learn about applying for repayment assistance or adjusting your repayment details.

Learn more about the consequences of defaulting on your loans. 


Special circumstances

If you have difficulty making payments you can apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP).  Under special circumstances, you may qualify for additional support:

Borrowers with permanent disabilities

You may qualify for an enhanced Repayment Assistance Plan (for Alberta loans only).

In extreme circumstances, a borrower with a permanent disability may be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Borrowers who declare bankruptcy

You are still expected to repay your student loans. You must continue to make monthly payments.

However, you may request a court-ordered discharge once 7 years have passed since you left school (5 years in the case of extreme financial hardship).

Learn more about declaring bankruptcy and defaulting on your loans.