osap sub banner image

Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP)

Academic Year:
Beginning November 1, 2010
Who It’s For:
Student loan borrowers who are having difficulties repaying their loans
Type of Aid:
Interest Relief and Debt Reduction
Amount of Aid:
N/A
When to Apply:
Six months after you finish school and every six months thereafter, or whenever you are in repayment and having difficulties repaying your loans.
Deadlines:
Applications for RAP will be accepted on or after November 1, 2010.
How to Apply:
See Repayment Assistance Chart to determine which application process is right for you.
You should also know:
You can now receive RAP for student loans from both Ontario and Canada. Ontario’s RAP aligns with the government of Canada’s Repayment Assistance Plan introduced on August 1, 2009.

Purpose

Both the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada offer repayment assistance that helps borrowers who are having difficulty repaying their loans. Effective November 1, 2010, the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) is available for all of the following loans:

    • Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loans
    • Canada Student Loans issued before August 1, 2000
    • Ontario Student Loans issued before August 1, 2001
    • Part-Time Canada Student Loans

RAP has two stages, Interest Relief and Debt Reduction, to help eligible borrowers fully repay their student loans within 15 years (or 10 years for borrowers with permanent disabilities).

During periods of repayment assistance you will either:

    • be exempt from making monthly loan payments during the eligibility period, or
    • make your Affordable Monthly Payment.

You must apply for RAP. Each term of RAP eligibility (Interest Relief or Debt Reduction) is for 6 months.

Who Can Get This Aid

To be eligible for RAP, you must:

    • Be a resident of Canada;
    • Have signed a Consolidation Agreement for your OSAP loans. If you have not signed a Consolidation Agreement, contact the NSLSC.
    • Have student loans that are in good standing (i.e., not in default) and not be restricted from repayment assistance for other reasons.
    • Have an affordable monthly payment that is less than the required monthly payment:
        • Your affordable monthly payment is calculated based on your gross family income (including your spouse’s income, if applicable) and family size;
        • Your required monthly payment is calculated based on the total amount of your government student loans.

If your affordable payment is less than the required payment, and you meet all of the other eligibility requirements for RAP, you will make only the affordable payment for six months.

Note: Your reported family income is subject to income verification. You (and your spouse, if applicable) may be required to provide supporting documentation.

Affordable Payment

The affordable payment is calculated based on your gross monthly family income and your family size. Your affordable monthly payment for the 6 month RAP term would be zero if your gross monthly family income, before taxes and other deductions, is equal to or less than the amount listed in the table below for your family size.


Gross monthly family Income Threshold for zero affordable payment

Number of Family Members

Gross Monthly Family Income

1

$1,684

2

$2,631

3

$3,399

4

$4,009

5 or more

$4,569

Above the income threshold for zero payments (as shown in the table above), the monthly affordable payment gradually increases with family income but will never exceed a maximum of 20 per cent of family income.

Note: If your spouse also has government student loans in repayment, your Monthly Affordable Payment will be adjusted by your share of the government student loans held by both of you. For example, if the Monthly Affordable Payment based on your family income is $150, and you have two-thirds of the government student loans in repayment, your Monthly Affordable Payment will be $100 (2/3 of $150).

Amount of Aid – RAP Stages

    Stage 1: Interest Relief

    This stage of RAP is available for up to 60 months or until you are 10 years out of school, whichever comes first.

    During Interest Relief, you make the affordable monthly payment. Your affordable payment will go first towards paying down your loan principal and, if large enough, the remainder will go towards paying monthly interest. The Governments of Canada and Ontario cover all monthly interest that is not covered by your payment.

    For example:

    Joan’s required monthly payment on a Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan is $300. Of this amount, $100 is interest and $200 is principal. Joan’s affordable payment is $50. Therefore Joan’s monthly payment would pay down the loan principal by $50 and the governments of Canada and Ontario would pay a total of $100 toward the monthly interest amount.

    Note: During Stage 1 Interest Relief, the National Student Loans Service Centre will randomly sample 20% of applicants for proof of reported family income (e.g., copies of pay stubs). Those who fail income verification will automatically be required to provide proof income if/when they reapply for RAP.

    Stage 2: Debt Reduction

    This stage occurs after Stage 1, that is, after you have received RAP Stage 1 Interest Relief for a minimum of 60 months or you have been out of school for ten years, whichever comes first. All applicants for Debt Reduction must include proof of their reported family income (e.g., copies of pay stubs for the applicant, and spouse, if applicable).

    If you have a Permanent Disability, you can apply to enter Stage 2 immediately upon entering repayment, without receiving any RAP stage 1 Interest Relief.

    During RAP Stage 2, you will make either no payment or a monthly affordable payment, depending on your income and family size. Your affordable payment, if any, will go first towards paying down your loan principal and, if large enough, the remainder will go towards paying monthly interest. The Governments of Canada and Ontario cover all monthly interest and principal amounts not covered by your payment, so that your debt is eliminated within a maximum of 15 years from exiting school, or within a maximum of 10 years if you have a permanent disability.

    For example:

    Ben’s required monthly payment on a Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan is $400. Of this amount $150 is interest and $250 is principal. Ben’s affordable payment is $0.00. Therefore during Stage 2, the governments of Canada and Ontario would pay a total of $250 toward the principal amount of the loan and $150 toward the monthly interest.

Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD)

Borrowers with a permanent disability may apply for RAP Stage 2 (Debt Reduction) immediately upon entering repayment without using RAP Stage 1. Through RAP Stage 2, borrowers with permanent disabilities are helped to pay off their loans in 10 years. For simplicity, the provisions for borrowers with permanent disabilities under RAP are called “RAP-PD.”

For borrowers with permanent disabilities, the calculation of the affordable payment is based on family income, family size, and disability-related expenses (allowable uninsured medical expenses, special care and other expenses directly related to the disability).

If you wish to be considered for RAP-PD, you must complete a RAP application (see section below, “How to Apply.”) On the RAP application, you must indicate that you have a permanent disability. If you were confirmed to have a permanent disability for the purposes of an OSAP application while you were a postsecondary student, no further documentation should be required. If your permanent disability was not confirmed for the purposes of an OSAP application while you were in postsecondary studies, you will be required to complete a RAP-PD Verification of Permanent Disability form. In addition, you will be required to provide medical documentation to support your permanent disability. To request a RAP-PD Verification of Permanent Disability form, contact the NSLSC.

If you have disability-related expenses and wish to have them taken into consideration on your RAP application, you must complete a RAP-PD Expenses form, and provide proof of your expenses and insurance coverage. To request a RAP-PD Expenses form, contact the NSLSC. Along with your RAP application, you will be required to provide proof of your reported family income (e.g., copies of pay stubs).

How to Apply

Typically, borrowers will submit a single application for repayment assistance to the NSLSC; however, there are separate application processes for borrowers who were issued only Ontario Student Loans prior to August 1, 2001 and/or Canada Student Loans prior to August 1, 2000. For information on how to apply for repayment assistance for the different types of student loans that you have, check out the chart below.

Type of Loan

How to Apply

If you have a Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan (COISL) and/or Part-time Canada Student Loan:

A single application, which is submitted to the NSLSC

Request an application from the NSLSC or download the application form from the CanLearn website.

If you have a COISL AND one or both of the older loans listed below:
    • Canada Student Loan issued before August 1, 2000
    • Ontario Student Loan issued before August 1, 2001
A single application, which is submitted to the NSLSC

Request an application from the NSLSC or download the application form from the CanLearn website.

If you have ONLY one or both of the following older loans:
    • Canada Student Loan issued before August 1, 2000
    • Ontario Student Loan issued before August 1, 2001
Contact your lender holding this loan for information on how to apply.

Each term of RAP eligibility (Interest Relief or Debt Reduction) is for 6 months. If you wish to receive additional terms of RAP, you must reapply for RAP at the end of each 6 month term.

How to Check the Status of Your Application

Information about the processing of your application for repayment assistance is available from the agency to which you applied, either the NSLSC or previous lender.