Paying Back Student Loans

Once you’ve finished your studies, you need to repay your loans. There are serious consequences if you miss even one payment on your provincial or federal student loan. We've prepared the following guide to help you understand the repayment process and to provide resources and contacts in case you get off track.

Register with both provincial and federal loan providers


You most likely received both Alberta and Canada student loans, which means two separate loans will need to be repaid and you will need to stay in touch with at least two loan providers. Student Aid Alberta and the National Student Loans Service Centre offer services to help you manage your student loans online.


Alberta student loans: Student Aid Alberta Service Centre (SAASC)

Register for SAASC's online services at studentaid.alberta.ca »

  • review your Alberta student loan information
  • check loan balances, loan payments and transaction history
  • update personal and other contact information
  • access online loan counselling resources

Student Aid Alberta can help you customize your monthly payments or access repayment assistance plans.

Other provincial funding

If you are not an Alberta resident, check with your provincial /territorial funding agencies


Canada student loans: National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC)

Register for NSLSC's online services at CanLearn.ca »

  • check the status of your Canada student loans
  • update personal and other contact information
  • customize your repayment
  • get repayment assistance or apply online for the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP)
  • find tools and resources to help you manage your student loan

Make a repayment plan before your grace period ends


Six-month grace period

You have a six-month grace period after your last date of study before you have to make a payment on both provincial and federal student loans; however, we encourage you to start making loan payments as soon as you graduate. While Alberta student loans remain interest free during the six-month grace period, interest begins to accumulate on your Canada student loan as soon as you finish full-time studies. Early payments will help you pay back your student loans sooner.

If you are returning to school, remember to confirm your enrolment to keep loans interest free and extend your repayment date. Learn more and download confirmation of enrolment forms »


Grace period interest

Interest will begin to accumulate on your Canada student loans after your last date of study. You have two options to pay the interest that accumulates during the grace period.

1. Pay the interest before your loan enters repayment

You can make the interest payment as a one-time lump sum payment before your loan enters repayment or as numerous payments throughout the grace period as the interest accumulates. Paying the interest in this way may slightly reduce your monthly payment amount.

2. Capitalize the interest

To capitalize the interest means to add the interest to the principal amount of your loan when your loan enters repayment. This is done automatically if the interest is not paid before your loan enters repayment. 


Repayment options

During the grace period you will receive information from each of your loan providers about student loan repayment options. Once your six-month grace period ends, you will begin making payments.

Your student loan payment amount and the payment terms are set by the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre for your Alberta student loans and by the National Student Loans Service Centre for your Canada student loans. Access online resources to develop a repayment plan that works for you:

Keep your contact information up to date


Your lenders need your correct contact information as they will be sending you crucial information about your loans and your payments. If you change any of the following, you need to let Student Aid Alberta and the National Student Loan Service Centre know:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Marital Status
  • Banking Information

If you register for online services with Student Aid Alberta and the National Student Loan Service Centre, you can easily update your information.

Protect your credit rating: keep your loans in good standing


A default occurs when you do not make the required monthly payments on your loan(s). There are serious consequences if you default on your student loans including the following:

  • Your credit rating will be negatively affected.
  • Your loans will be sent to a collection agency.
  • Any GST or income tax refunds you are eligible to receive will be automatically used to repay your defaulted loans.
  • The provincial and/or federal governments may take legal action against you.
  • You will lose your eligibility for further student loans until you bring your loans into good standing.

Student Aid Alberta has more detailed information about default consequences »

Access repayment assistance before you miss a payment


If you think you cannot make a payment or if you have already missed a payment, talk to the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre, the National Student Loans Service Centre and/or your bank. There are repayment assistance options to help you keep your loans in good standing.


National Student Loan Service Centre

  • 1-888-815-4514 (within North America) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. local time
  • 1-888-815-4556 TTY (for the hearing impaired)
  • Dial the international access code + 800-2-225-2501 (outside North America)

Student Aid Alberta Service Centre

  • 1-855-606-2096 (toll free in North America) Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. local time
  • 1-855-306-2240 TTY (for the hearing impaired)
  • Dial the international access code + 800-2-529-9242 (toll free outside North America)

Contact a Financial Aid Advisor if you have questions about the repayment process.


Student loan repayment webinar

The National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) is providing Repayment Webinars to help you understand the options for repaying your student loan. Webinars are one hour long and free of charge. Register online »