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How Do I Pay My Student Loans

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The Repayment Assistance Plan is designed to assist manage education loans. If you apply, the loan payments may be reduced or eliminated. In addition, the government will pay any interest on outstanding student loans for 60 months or until the borrower is ten years out of school .

After this, the government will also cover the principal to pay off the entire loan within 15 years after school graduation.

You are in default if you don’t qualify for RAP and don’t make repayments for nine months on your federal assistance or related provincial education loans. Your federal loans will be sent to the Canada Revenue Agency and other loans to private collection agencies, and they could freeze your bank accounts and garnish wages.

In Canada, if you file for bankruptcy after seven years of the last day of study, your student loan is eligible for discharge. In some rare cases, it could be allowed by the court to release the debt after five years.

Assess The Potential Impact On Your Debt

At the moment, the main point of contention among lawmakers and advocates is over how much of the debt should be scrapped: $10,000 or $50,000?

Canceling $10,000 in student debt for all would cost the federal government $321 billion, and clear the balances entirely for close to 12 million people. Forgiving $50,000 for all borrowers, on the other hand, will cost $904 billion, and leave 30 million people student debt-free.

Even under that more generous plan, not everyone would be entirely happy.

One-fifth of federal student loan borrowers owe more than $50,000, and around 7% of borrowers have balances over six figures.

Paying Off Student Loans: The Pros And Cons Of Using A Credit Card

Paying off your student loans with a credit card comes with both risks and costs. Paying your student loans with a credit card is a possibility if you have private student loans, and it’s an approach that can grant you more repayment flexibility. Get the full picture before determining if this student loan repayment strategy is right for you.

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Q If So Many Students Are Struggling To Repay Their Loans How Much Are Taxpayers On The Hook For

A. For many years, federal budget forecasters expected the student loan program to earn a profituntil recently. In its latest estimates, the Congressional Budget Office expects the program to cost taxpayers $31 billion for new loans issued over the next decades. And that figure uses an arcane and unrealistic accounting method required by federal law. Using an accounting method that calculates the subsidy to borrowers from getting loans from the government at rates well below those theyd be charged in the private sector, the cost to taxpayers is $307 billion. And that largely excludes the cumulative losses already anticipated on loans issued prior to 2019.

These Programs Can Help You Wipe Out Student Debt

How Do I Pay Off My Federal Student Loans?

InvestopediaForbes AdvisorThe Motley Fool, CredibleInsider

How can people get rid of their student loan debtand, specifically, when is loan forgiveness an option? We don’t need another statistic to tell us how deep in student loan debt U.S. college graduates are. Total debt and average debt figures don’t mean much, except to say that if the sums you owe keep you up at night, you’re in good company. What matters is finding a solution.

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How To Make A Student Loan Payment

Any time you make a payment on your loan, it reduces what you owe in the long run. So even if you don’t have a payment due right now, making a payment is always a good idea. And if you’re in repayment, making on-time payments will help you build a solid credit history and stay on the path to successfully paying off your loan.

There are lots of ways you can quickly and easily make your paymentsfind the method that works best for you!

Pay More Than The Minimum Payment

Youve probably heard this one before. If youre only paying the minimum payment each month, youre not getting anywhere fast. You might not even be breaking even with the interest youre piling up! By making larger payments, youll be able to attack the amount you owe at a quicker rate. Start playing around with that Student Loan Payoff Calculator to figure out how fast you can pay off your loans by making extra payments.

Heres an example:

  • Lets say you have the typical amount of student loan debt that the average student graduates with, which is $38,792.1
  • With a 5.8% interest rate and a 10-year loan term , youd be looking at a minimum monthly payment of $426.78.2
  • Because of interest, your total repayment amount would be $51,489thats $12,697 more than your original loan! Yikes. That blows.
  • But lets say you decided to pay just 20% more than your minimum payment each month . That would put your monthly payment at $512.14which means youd pay off your entire loan in about eight years and save $2,794.04 in interest ! Thats more like it.
  • If you paid over 20% more than your minimum payment each month, youd pay off your loan even faster . You get the picture!

All that said, if youre having trouble even making the minimum payment each month, you might think the idea of paying more money is a pipe dream. With that in mind . . .

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If Youre Having Trouble Repaying

If you need help with repaying your Canada Student Loan, you may qualify for the Repayment Assistance Plan .

If youre having trouble repaying a provincial student loan, contact your student aid office. For repayment assistance with a loan or line of credit provided by your financial institution, contact your branch to determine what your options are.

Understand that by making your payments smaller, it will take you longer to pay back your loan. Youll end up paying more interest on your loan.

If you consider refinancing or consolidating your student loan, note that there are important disadvantages.

If you transfer your federal or provincial student loan to a private lender, you will lose any tax deductions on your student loan interest. You wont qualify for the interest free period while you’re in school and will end up paying more interest over time.

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Why Did My Student Loans Disappear

Courtney Johnston


Courtney Johnston is an editor for CNET Money, where she focuses on tax coverage and manages the team’s editorial workflow and publishing calendar. Passionate about financial literacy and inclusion, she has a decade of prior experience as a freelance journalist covering investing, insurance and real estate. She has a master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Indianapolis, where she also served as a writing instructor. A New Jersey native, she currently resides in Indianapolis, but continues to pine for East Coast pizza and bagels.

Cynthia Paez Bowman

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance, real estate and international business journalist. Besides, her work has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN,, and She owns and operates a small digital marketing and public relations firm that works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility. Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development.

If Navient was your federal loan servicer, your loans have been transferred to Aidvantage.

Why it matters

With the federal loan pause ending in September, you’ll want to know how to log into Aidvantage’s website to view your student loan account.

What’s next

Federal Student Loan Process

To apply for a federal student loan youll need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . The information on the FAFSA will determine how much youll be able to borrow. Your college will send you a financial aid offer, which will include details on how to accept your loan. You will then need to sign a Master Promissory Note .

Read Also: When Do You Apply For Parent Plus Loan

Transferring Your Student Loan Balance To Your Credit Card Can Sometimes Reduce Your Interest Payments

When you transfer your student loan balance to a credit card, you can sometimes enjoy a lower interest rate. Many balance transfer cards offer introductory APRs at or near zero percent. Still, these low rates are typically offered only for your first 12 or 18 months as a cardholder and may charge fees like traditional credit cards. Your rate will go up thereafter, charged against whatever your remaining credit card balance is.

Online Payments With Higheredpointscom

Should I Pay Off my Student Loans?

If you have an account with, you can use it to make additional payments.

Note: This link is to a web site not under the control of Employment and Social Development Canada . ESDC is not responsible for the accuracy, currency or the reliability of the content. ESDC does not endorse the site or its content. You should be aware that information offered by this site is not subject to the Official Languages Act. Use of is at your own risk.

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Pay Off Your Student Loans Early If:

  • Youre saving a reasonable amount for retirement already. If youre already saving money for retirement and youre on track to reach your long-term goals, it can make sense to funnel some extra cash toward your student loans.
  • Your income is high enough to fund other goals. If your income is high enough that you can save for your other financial goals and you still have cash to spare, it can make sense to wipe out your student loans faster than normal.
  • You have paid off all high-interest debt. If you are free of and other high-interest debts, thats another sign that it could make sense to pay off your student loans early.
  • You have a fully funded emergency fund. You should pay off student loans early only if you have at least three to six months of expenses in a high-yield savings account. However, dont use your emergency fund to pay for those student loans keep it intact and available for true emergencies.

Eligibility Criteria For Deferment

You can get a deferment for up to three years on your federal student loans if you’re unemployed or unable to find full-time employment.

Deferment Isn’t Always Available for Private Student Loans

Deferments are available for federal student loans, but not always for private student loans. Some private lenders might allow you to temporarily postpone your payments, but they could charge interest during this time. The types of deferment options will depend on your lender and the specific loan product you took out.

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Your Interest Rate Options

Current status: Suspension of interest on Canada Student Loans

Until March 31, 2023, no interest is charged on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans.

Your student loan has a floating interest rate by default. You can switch to a fixed interest rate after entering repayment. If you switch to a fixed rate, you cannot switch back to a floating rate.

Interest rate options for your Canada Student Loan:

  • a default floating interest rate equal to the prime rate, or
  • a fixed interest rate equal to the prime rate + 2%

If you have a provincial part to your loan, it may be at a different interest rate. Contact your province or territory for information about your rate or visit

Q Is College Worth The Money Even If One Has To Borrow For It Or Is Borrowing For College A Mistake

How Do I Pay Off My Student Loan Debt AND Save Money?

A. It depends. On average, an associate degree or a bachelors degree pays off handsomely in the job market borrowing to earn a degree can make economic sense. Over the course of a career, the typical worker with a bachelors degree earns nearly $1 million more than an otherwise similar worker with just a high school diploma if both work fulltime, year-round from age 25. A similar worker with an associate degree earns $360,000 more than a high school grad. And individuals with college degrees experience lower unemployment rates and increased odds of moving up the economic ladder. The payoff is not so great for students who borrow and dont get a degree or those who pay a lot for a certificate or degree that employers dont value, a problem that has been particularly acute among for-profit schools. Indeed, the variation in outcomes across colleges and across individual academic programs within a college can be enormousso students should choose carefully.

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Youll Establish Good Financial Habits

Another potential benefit of paying student loan interest while in school is the development of good financial habits. Youll learn to manage your money, including how to make on-time payments on debt and how to budget for monthly bills.

You might need to track your spending with a budget or pursue a side gig to make some additional income. These efforts might also pay off down the line, since making on-time payments on debt is an important part of building your credit score.

Should You Pay Off Your Student Loans Early

For some people, paying off student loan debt as quickly as possible is their biggest financial goal. But there are times when you shouldnât rush to eliminate your student loans.

For example, you may not want to sacrifice your future retirement for a faster student loan payoff. If your employer matches 401 contributions, for instance, it could be wise to contribute whatâs needed to get the match in lieu of putting more money toward your student loan balance.

If youâre trying to buy a house, start a family or launch a business, you may want to beef up your savings instead of throwing extra money toward your loans. If you donât have an emergency fund, then you should likely make that a priority instead of paying off your student loans.

Additionally, if youâre eligible for any kind of loan forgiveness program, you might want to reconsider paying off your loans faster. You may end up saving more by opting for loan forgiveness, even if youâre technically paying off your student loans for a longer period of time.

But if the above scenarios donât apply to you, then paying off your student loans early may be the right financial decision.

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Q Which Student Loan Borrowers Are Most Likely To Default

A. Accordingto researchby Judy Scott-Clayton of Columbia University, Black graduates with abachelors degree default at five times the rate of white bachelors graduates21%compared with 4%. Among all college students who started college in 200304 , 38% of Black students defaulted within 12 years, comparedto 12% of white students.

Part ofthe disparity is because Black students are more likely to attend for-profitcolleges, where almost half of students default within 12 years of collegeentry. And Black students borrow more and have lower levels of family income,wealth, and parental education. Even after accounting for types of schoolsattended, family background characteristics, and post-college income, however, thereremains an 11-percentage-point Blackwhite disparity in default rates.

Tips For While You’re In School

I Sold Rodan + Fields To Pay Off My Student Loans

Create a Budget

Get an exact number of what tuition, room and board, books, and lab fees will cost you. Once scholarships and grants are applied, you’ll need to either use saved money or borrow loans to fill in the gap. Never borrow more money than you can afford to pay back. Some student loans accrue interest while you are in school, and some do not. Consider paying any interest as it accrues to avoid paying a larger total over time. Use this calculator to determine how much money you’ll need for school.

Stay Financially Fit

Develop healthy habits for a secure financial future with these resources from Nelnet. Find more financial literacy articles and tips on and !

Look for Free Money First

Always search for free money, like scholarships, grants, and work-study options, before taking out student loans.


Depending on your field of study or level of athleticism, you may qualify for an academic or sports scholarship at your school. Many scholarships are also available from sources other than your school. Check out state offerings, local community groups, essay contests, and online scholarship searches. The criteria vary some are even awarded based on heritage, hair color, and hobbies.


Grants are offered by the Department of Education and by some states and schools to students who fit certain criteria and in most cases don’t have to be paid back, so look into these options when considering all of your financial aid options.

Reapply for the FAFSA

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