Last week ABM College had a guest speaker present on Student Loans and repayment options. Violet Reid was our presenter and she is the Regional Representative of Student Lending in Alberta. She gave an informative presentation for morning and evening, thanks Violet! Here’s some information from that presentation.
You must begin to repay your Student Loan(s) when you graduate, leave school or cease to be a full-time student.
You are allowed a six-month non-repayment period before repayment begins where no payments are required; however, interest can accrue. You can either pay the interest during the non-repayment period, or you can ask to have it added to your student loan balance. If you do not notify the loan servicer how you are going to pay the non-repayment period interest, it will automatically be added to your loan balance at consolidation.
When you arrange to repay your Student loans, this is called consolidation.
During the six-month non-repayment period after you leave school, the loan servicer(s) will mail you a Consolidated Student Loan Agreement for your Canada Student Loan(s), Provincial Student Loan or integrated student loan. This agreement provides information about:
You are responsible for:
Depending on when you received your loan, you will deal with one of the following loan servicers:
Student Aid Alberta Service Centre
National Student Loans Service Centre
The acceptable payment methods are:
You must ensure that your payments are received at the loan servicer before the scheduled payment date. If you send the payment on the payment date, it could be received by the loan servicer a few days after the due date, causing collection activity.
When you enter into repayment, you can choose between a fixed or floating interest rate. If you select a fixed rate, your interest rate will be locked in at prime plus 5 percent for the Canada portion and prime plus 2 percent for the Alberta portion for the duration of your repayment schedule and cannot go back to a floating rate. If you select a floating rate, you will pay prime plus 2.5 percent on the Canada portion and prime on the Alberta portion. You have the option to change to a fixed rate at any time.
Yes. A student loan tax credit allows you to deduct the interest that you pay on your student loans each year. This credit applies to interest payments you make on both your federal and provincial or territorial student loans, and the appropriate documents will be sent to you by mail for you to use when you file your taxes. It does not apply to interest payments you may make on any loans held with a private lender such as a student line of credit with a financial institution.
If you have trouble finding employment or find it difficult to repay your Student Loan because of financial hardship, there is help. Programs such as Repayment Assistance Plan and Revision of Terms are available to either defer or reduce your required monthly payment. You may have to apply and qualify for these options. Contact your loan servicer for more information.
In addition to your minimum monthly payments, you can make lump sum payments, or increase your monthly payment amount for your loan at any time during the life of your loans. These extra amounts will reduce your principal faster and therefore reduce the amount of interest you pay on your loan. You can also pay your loans in full at any time without penalty. Contact your loan servicer to obtain your current balance as it will change daily.
Yes, there are a number of resources you can take advantage of on the internet. A great resource is Canlearn.ca the government of Canada’s website or Student Aid website for Alberta student loans. They have a lot of information about how to manage your loan(s) as well as a links to view your personal information on-line. You will be able to:
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