OTTAWA -- The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) says supports are being put in place for student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on its website, the NSLSC says this applies to both the federal and provincial portions of student loans issued in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and B.C.

Payments will be frozen for automatic withdrawals. Those who pay by cheque will not be required to mail in payments. The freeze will also be interest-free.

If your loan was issued by PEI, Nova Scotia, Alberta or Manitoba, the NSLSC says it only administers the federal portion of a student's loan, and therefore, the freeze applies only to the Canada Student Loan. 

The government of Quebec has also suspended student loan payments for six months.

Here is how this will affect students who have applied for or are repaying student loans, according to the NSLSC:

You are still in school

"The suspension does not impact your loan since you have no payment to make and interest does not accumulate while you are in-study," the NSLSC says.

You are in your six-month non-repayment period

Payments are never required during the non-repayment period.

  • The non-repayment period is already interest-free for Canada, BC and NL loans;
  • Interest accrues on the provincial portion of the loan for ON, NB and SK; however, between March 30th and September 30th, ON, NB and SK loans will be interest-free.
  • If your non-repayment period is set to end during the suspension period, payments and interest will automatically be suspended until September 30th and you will start repaying your loan in October 2020.

You have already started to repay your loan

"You do not have to do anything," the NSLSC says. "Your loan will be interest and payment free until September 30th and you will resume repaying your loan in October 2020."

Those who still wish to continue paying off their loan can do so manually through their online NSLSC account or through their bank.