Repaying your loans

Repayment of Federal Loans is an important obligation. There are a number of repayment options available to help borrowers.

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The importance of repayment

Please remember that you are required to make your student loan payments even if you:

  • do not complete your education;
  • are not employed upon completion of your studies;
  • do not find employment in your field of study;
  • feel that the education you received did not meet your expectations;
  • you do not receive a bill.

You must make your loan repayments on time or it may have serious consequences.
Delay or non-repayment may:

  • damage your credit rating, which could impact your ability to borrow;
  • be referred to a collection agency;
  • incur collection costs;
  • cause garnishment of your wages;
  • cause withholding of your state or Federal treasury payments (including federal tax refunds, Social Security benefits, etc.);
  • cause a civil lawsuit, including court costs and legal expenses;
  • cause loss of deferment and forbearance entitlements and flexible repayment options;
  • cause loss of eligibility for further financial aid;
  • suspend your professional licence.

Repayment options

There are a number of repayment plans available. You should discuss them with your lender to determine which will be the best for you:

What is a 'grace period'?

A period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time (part-time) enrolment before you enter loan repayment. Both Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) qualify for a six-month grace period before any repayments are due.  

There is no grace period for a Grad PLUS or Parental PLUS loan and they will enter repayment once they have fully disbursed. You may be eligible for a deferment and should contact your loan servicer for information.

I am having difficulty repaying my loans, what should I do?

You must speak to your lender. You can discuss the following options:


If you are struggling to make your repayments you need to speak to your lender about a deferment. A deferment is a period of time during which your lender temporarily suspends your regular payments. You will need to continue making repayments until your lender has approved the deferment. During the deferment you still will incur interest on any unsubsidized direct loan and any other types of loans.


If you are unable to make your scheduled payments but do not meet the criteria to qualify for a deferment, the lender/holder has the discretion to allow you to:

  • Reduce the amount of your payment
  • Temporarily stop making payments

You must contact your lender/holder to request forbearance and continue making repayments until forbearance is agreed.

For more information, visit the Federal Aid website.