Education is an investment in ‘your future’. Many students rely on student loans from the Alberta and Canadian governments to help them make that education a reality. After you graduate, it’s important that you stay on top of your student loan repayments in order to maintain a good credit rating.
But, if you’re having difficulty with repayments, don’t try to ignore the issue! Help is available through the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP). The RAP can significantly reduce your monthly payment amounts while keeping your credit rating in good standing. Let’s take a look at how the RAP can work for you.
How the Repayment Assistance Program Can Help Students
The RAP is designed to keep your monthly student loan repayments in line with your income and family size. For those who have graduated from career colleges in Alberta, the RAP is a great way to provide some breathing room during the repayment period. If you qualify, the RAP helps reduce monthly payment amounts for a period of 6 months. After those 6 months, you can reapply for RAP if you need to. Reduced payment amounts are based on the following family sizes and income caps:
- For a family of 1: $50,000
- For a family of 2: $60,000
- For a family of 3: $80,500
- For a family of 4: $100,500
Also, some students, including those in career colleges, may not be required to make any payments for the 6-month period. Again, this is based on income and family size. The following income thresholds are used to determine whether or not you are eligible for 6 months of no repayments:
- For a family of 1: $25,000
- For a family of 2: $39,000
- For a family of 3: $50,500
- For a family of 4: $59,500
Additionally, the government will assist with repaying the interest on your loans for up to 60 months within 10 years after you leave school. After 10 years, the government may assist with both the interest and principal. If you have a permanent disability, you could be eligible for the Repayment Assistance Plan for Students with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD). With the RAP-PD you can have your student loans reduced to zero 10 years after leaving school as opposed to the usual 15 years.
How Students Can Qualify for the RAP
In addition to the above requirements, there are others you must meet in order to apply for RAP. For example, your loan must be in repayment, it cannot be in default or included in a bankruptcy, and you’ll need to supply documentation proving eligibility. Also, if you failed to make previous RAP payments, then you may be barred from applying for RAP. The RAP is available to those who have taken out an Alberta and/or Canada student loan and who meet these qualifications, including students in career college programs. RAP-PD applicants must also have a permanent disability assessed and recognized by the Canada Student Loans Program.
To apply for RAP for Alberta and Canada student loans, you can do so online using your National Student Loan Service Centre account. If you only have an Alberta student loan, you can call the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre at 1-855-606-2096.
Are you ready to invest in your future?