Natural Disaster Emergency Support Information

Are you affected by a current wildfire, or flooding situation? Do you need help with your student loan payments?

Natural Disasters (e.g., floods, wildfires, etc.) are happening and are a potential threat across Canada at any time. The Canada Student Financial Assistance Program has implemented measures to support student borrowers impacted by natural disaster emergencies. Alberta Student Aid will provide similar benefits to our affected student borrowers as follows:

  • Alberta Student Aid will not reach out to notify students directly; these processes apply only to borrowers/students who call and notify the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre, and provide explanation of the impacts of a natural disaster emergency on their studies.

We will update this webpage as new information is made available. 

Find the student loan situation What you'll see on the Alberta student loan payment statement
The student has recently finished school. Their Alberta student loan is in Non-Repayment status

When your loan enters Non-Repayment status, no payments are required and no interest is charged to your account for 6-months from the last date you were in studies.

How Interest is Paid:

  • Six months after the date your studies end, interest will begin to accrue and appear on your Alberta student loan statement each month.

  • You are responsible for making required payments and for interest that accrues when you start your regular payment schedule.

View your Alberta student loan details and history:


The student is currently in Repayment status

The student will continue to pay interest that accrues each month on their Alberta student loan.

How Interest is Paid:

  • Interest will accrue and appear on your Alberta student loan statement each month.

  • You are responsible for making required payments and for interest that accrues to your regular payment schedule.

  • Interest that accrues each month on your Alberta student loan will continue to be paid by the student.

View your Alberta student loan details and history:

The student is currently on the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP)

Natural Disaster Relief and the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) process:

  • Canada Student Financial Assistance Program and Alberta Student Aid are each offering student borrowers impacted by natural disasters expedited and easier access to RAP. This pertains to borrowers with integrated loans, as well as those from provinces with harmonized RAP.

  • Borrowers with both Canada and Alberta student loans benefit from a harmonized RAP application processes, where borrowers only need to submit one loan application to be considered for RAP benefits for both their Alberta and Canada student loans.

The following emergency-relief processes are now in place:

Student borrowers impacted by a natural disaster will need to apply for emergency relief over the phone by calling the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre or the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC).

  • Assistance is not automatic; emergency relief will be provided to borrowers who identify themselves as impacted by a natural disaster (postal codes will not be a criteria used at this time).

  • Borrowers who do not reach out are expected to continue making their monthly loan payments.

Both the NSLSC and the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre customer-service agents will assist with the following:

  • Assess individual situations and place impacted borrowers on a priority call list.

  • Assist students with their phone applications (for either provisional emergency funding or emergency RAP) and allow them to provide a verbal attestation rather than proof-of-income documentation for the previous month.

The same processes apply to Alberta only Repayment Assistance Plan.

Defaulted Borrowers

Federal National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC):

  • Borrowers with defaulted Canada student loans who self-identify (over the phone) as affected by a natural disaster may choose to have their RAP collection suspended.

  • The NSLSC will continue to make the following outbound calls because they provide benefits to the borrowers:

    Disbursement
    Will contact borrowers to address issues relating to getting their disbursement.

    End of Study
    Will contact borrowers to address an exception on their period of study end date to allow them to stay in good standing.

    RAP Oriented Calls
    Both exception handling and renewals will continue.

    Pre-consolidation Calls
    Not every student has access to mail; since the NSLSC does not want to risk funds withdrawn from bank accounts without advanced notification, they will continue to contact borrowers, by phone, about their upcoming repayments.

Alberta:

  • Borrowers with defaulted Alberta student loans who self-identify (over the phone) as affected by a natural disaster may choose to have their RAP collection suspended.

  • The Alberta Student Aid Service Centre will continue to make the following outbound calls because they provide benefits to borrowers:

    Disbursement
    Will contact borrowers to address issues relating to getting their disbursement.

    End of Study
    Will contact borrowers to address an exception on their period of study end date to allow them to stay in good standing.

    RAP Oriented Calls
    Both exception handling and renewals will continue.

    Pre-consolidation Calls
    Not every student has access to mail; since the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre does not want to risk having funds withdrawn from bank accounts without advanced notification, it will continue to contact student borrowers, by phone, about their upcoming repayments.

Treasury Board and Finance - Crown Debt Collections (CDC)

Alberta Student Aid will coordinate with Crown Debt Collections on:

Relief Period

  • Start: When identified by debtor
  • End: Six-Month relief period

Relief Criteria

  • Collections: Removal from collection activities
  • Payments: No payments required
  • Interest: Interest will cease for the duration of the relief period
  • CRA Set-off: Will remain unchanged

Timeframe: Intake of Relief Program

  • Start: Now
  • End: Indefinitely until advised by Advanced Education

  • When Alberta student loans return to Treasury Board and Finance - Crown Debt Collections, they are not eligible for harmonized RAP benefits, or Alberta RAP. Alberta borrowers’ defaulted Canada student loans would receive the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program benefits listed above (because their Canada student loans are not held at Crown Debt Collections).

  • Borrowers with defaulted Alberta student loans must contact Crown Debt Collections to temporarily stop collection activities.

  • Borrowers who do not contact Crown Debt Collections will remain in collections, will continue to receive collection calls, and are expected to continue making regular payments.

    Contact:

    Treasury Board and Finance - Crown Debt Collections
    Phone: 780 427-3244

    Dial Toll-free in Alberta: 310-0000
    followed by the area code and the above phone number

    Email: TBF.CDC@gov.ab.ca
The student is currently in school

If your studies have been disrupted as a result of a natural disaster and you have:

  • extended your study period
  • withdrawn from studies, or
  • your financial circumstances have changed

Submit a Request for Reconsideration under Section 3 of the Lifetime Loan Limits policy to help cover unexpected costs relating to a natural disaster.

Eligible students may receive the following Alberta student loan funding upon request.

  • Up to $7,500 for the 2021-22 loan year
  • Up to $8,500 for the 2022-23 loan year

Supporting documentation may be required to verify the costs.


Continue Making Payments

Students may want to continue making payments – a single payment or monthly payments. Making payments does not affect the student's eligibility for assistance. To make a payment:

Any payments students make during this time will decrease the principle of their Alberta student loan – helping to pay off their Alberta student loan off faster.


Canada Student Loans

If students also have Canada student loans, they need to contact the National Student Loans Service Centre to apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan for their Canada student loans: