So you are qualified to receive Federal Student Loans, and are wondering if there’s a way to get all the information that you need about your loan on one common platform? You, my friend, have just described the National Student Loans Service Centre. Abbreviated as NSLSC, it is a portal that allows you to view, track, manage, and update information about your Canada Student Loans.
From helping you keep your loan interest-free while studying to guiding those seeking repayment assistance, here’s a brief overview of all the things you can do with an NSLSC account:
- Confirm your enrolment: Once you are deemed eligible to receive Canada Student Loans, sign up with NSLSC and confirm your enrolment by uploading a form filled by the student as well as the school. This step is necessary to keep the loan interest-free and to avoid repayment while you are still studying.
- Change your address: If you move houses or cities, NSLSC allows you to easily update your address to continue receiving mail correspondence from Canada Student Loans.
- Update your banking information: Whether you wish to receive the loan amount on a different bank account or would like the repayments to be debited from your new chequing account, you can update all sorts of banking information on NSLSC.
- Choose/change interest rate options: After you graduate from the post-secondary program, the interest starts to accumulate even during the six-month non-repayment period. National Student Loans Service Centre allows you to choose between the floating interest rate and fixed interest rate options.
The floating interest rate keeps fluctuating to be on par with the current prime rate, whereas the fixed interest rate is calculated by adding 2% to the prime rate at the time of choosing an interest rate.
The prime rate is deduced by taking the average interest rates of the five largest banks of Canada. As the interest rates of banks change, it directly impacts the prime rate.
The floating interest rate is chosen as the default option. However, you can switch to a fixed interest rate at any point in time through NSLSC. Keep in mind that once you change your interest rate to be fixed, you can’t go back to choosing a floating interest rate.
- Make a one-time payment: NSLSC lets you make one-time payments at any point in the loan cycle. If you wish to make a payment towards your loan while you are studying or you would like to pay some amount during the six-month non-repayment period after graduation, you can do so using the one-time payment option. If you make an unscheduled single payment after six months post graduation, you would still have to make the next repayment as scheduled. In other words, a one-time payment doesn’t negate the next scheduled repayment.
- Set up pre-authorized debit: If you are worried about forgetting the deadline to repay the federal student loan each month, you can set up automatic payments towards the loan using pre-authorized debit options on NSLSC. This will ensure that you don’t miss any repayment installments.
- See your payments: NSLSC allows you to view a log of all the payments you have made, and keep track of the interest and loan amount that you have repaid to date.
- Check your loan balance: Wondering how much loan you still have to repay? You can find the information about the balance loan amount on NSLSC.
- Update payment date and frequency of repayment: If you wish to change when and how often you make payments towards the loan, you can update the payment due date as well as the frequency of repayment on NSLSC.
- Applying for parental/medical leave: If there is a break in your studies due to childbirth/caring for newborns or due to unforeseen illness, you can apply for parental or medical leave respectively through NSLSC. During the leave period, your loan would continue to be interest-free, and you wouldn’t be making any repayments towards the loan. Applying parental/medical leave avoids triggering the six-month non-repayment period.
- Delay repayments for Canadian Forces: If you need to take a break from your education to perform your duty for Canadian Forces on a designated operation, you can apply for delaying repayments and interest charges on loan amounts through NSLSC. Please note that this delay in interest accruement and loan repayment is not applicable for those students who have already started the repayment process post graduation.
- Changing power of attorney: NSLSC also lets you change power of attorney for the federal student loans by letting a parent or a guardian take control of all loan-related transactions including repayments.
- Apply for repayment assistance: For those who are struggling with repayment of federal student loans, NSLSC allows you to seek help by applying for a Repayment Assistance Plan(RAP) or Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with Permanent Disability (RAP-PD). Through these repayment assistance plans, the student, as well as the federal government, contribute regularly to pay off the loan along with interest.
As part of the repayment assistance plan, family doctors and nurses can receive up to $40,000 and $20,000 of loan forgiveness respectively.
- Get your tax slips: You can download tax slips from NSLSC to claim a 15% tax credit on all the interest repayments that you have done in a financial year.
- Download student loan forms: All sorts of federal and provincial loan forms can be found on NSLSC.
Click on Federal Student Loans to know all about loans offered by the federal government to students pursuing post-secondary education.
Interested in other federal student aid programs? Check out Federal Student Grants, Federal Student Scholarship, and Federal Student Bursaries.