Depending on your income, you may not be required to make payments that exceed your income by 20%, or any payment at all. You can apply for RAP anytime during repayment. You can apply for RAP as soon as you start to repay your student loans.
If you are eligible and accepted into RAP, the Government of Canada and your provincial or territorial government will pay the interest because your revised payment does not cover it. After 60 months of RAP or 10 years after you finish school,
Whichever comes first, the governments will begin to cover both the principal and interest that exceeds your reduced monthly payments.
As long as you remain eligible for RAP, the balance of your loan is gradually paid off, and repayment obligations will not exceed 15 years (or 10 years for persons with permanent disabilities) after leaving school.
If you are having difficulty or are unable to make your payments, you can apply to have the Government of Canada and your provincial or territorial government help you by paying towards your loan through these plans:
- the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP)
- the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD
- After 6 months, Re-enrolment is not automatic, and you must re-apply every 6 months.
If you go back to school
Once the Governments have contributed to your principal payment, you cannot receive additional student loans or grants until your existing loans are paid in full. However, you can still get interest-free status for your existing student loans if you return to school.
Once you have received a RAP-PD benefit and five years have passed since you have left school, you may not be eligible to receive further provincial loans and grants from some provinces until your loan from that jurisdiction is paid in full. Please contact your province for more information. This does not apply to the federal part of your loan.
Contact NSLSC to discuss your options.
If you need help with your payments or think you might miss one, contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) immediately to discuss your options.
If you have student loans from Manitoba or Prince Edward Island, you will need to contact your provincial or territorial loan provider.
- You may qualify for repayment assistance if:
- at least six months have passed since you graduated or left school (your loans are in repayment)
- you are up-to-date on your loan payments
If you have a permanent disability, you may qualify for RAP-PD if:
- your permanent disability has been assessed and recognized by the Canada Student Loans Program; and
- you are eligible for the Repayment Assistance Plan.
If your family income falls below a certain amount per month, you may be eligible to make no payments on your student loans for a period of six months.
If you earn more than the income thresholds shown below, you may still be eligible for reduced monthly payments through the Plan. Find out if you are eligible by using the Repayment Assistance Estimator.
Monthly Gross Family Income Thresholds for Zero Payment under RAP by Family Size
|Family Size||Income Threshold
Use the Repayment Assistance Estimator
Use the Repayment Assistance Estimator to find out if you are eligible and get an estimate of what your expected monthly payment might be.\
To apply for repayment assistance:
- Apply online through your National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) Online Services account (you must register for an online account first if you do not have one already);
- If you have loans from Prince Edward Island or Manitoba, you must apply directly to your province to repay your provincial loan. Contact your provincial student aid office to find out more.
- If you apply for RAP-PD (RAP for borrowers with permanent disability and would like your disability-related expenses or exceptional expenses to be considered, you can complete and submit a Disability-Related Expense Form with your application.