As of 2014, the average amount of student debt in Canada post graduation was around $25,000. With poor job opportunities for graduates, it is becoming difficult for students to pay back their debts. In many cases, it may force someone to delay other life milestones such as marriage, purchasing a first home or having children.
The First Steps to Paying Back Your Loan After Graduation or Leaving School:
As soon as you graduate or have left school for other reasons, it is time to begin paying back your student loans. You might also start repaying your loans if you are a part-time student. While you do not have to make payments for the first six months after you have graduated (due to the non repayment period), interest still builds up during this period. You can choose to pay these interest payments, pay it as one big sum before you begin to make your regular payments or add it to your total loan amount. Your monthly payment will be automatically withdrawn from the account in which you had your loan money deposited unless you make other arrangements.
How to Pay Back Your Loan:
- After the six month non repayment period, NSLSC will contact you to notify you that your monthly payments are due. Contact them if you they have not notified you before this period ends. Find out pertinent information such as the monthly amount and method of payment (such as automatic withdrawal, cheque, online banking or telephone banking), balance, how much interest you owe and the bank account from which you will make payments.
- Sign and return your loan repayment schedule. Signing this form will allow you to make changes to your repayment schedule and also get financial assistance in the event that you can’t make your monthly payments in the future.
If You Can’t Repay Your Loan:
In the event that you are having trouble making your monthly payments, contact National Student Loans Service Center. If you find yourself in this situation, it is imperative to contact them right away to avoid missing payments as this can damage your credit long term and make you ineligible for certain repayment programs. NSLSC has multiple repayment assistance options, including interest-only payments in which you only have to pay the interest on your own. This must be set up via telephone and has to be renewed every six months.
To keep up to date on your balance and to easily change your personal information, you can create an online NSLSC account.