This is the story about the time we noticed our Canada student loan interest rate was wrong.
Do you check your Canada student loan account regularly?
I check ours almost daily. I’m a visual learner, so seeing the account helps me feel on top of things.
Most of the time, it’s totally unnecessary. It’s not like the account changes all that much day to day.
But sometimes, checking in every day pays off.
The last (student) loan standing
We started our debt-free journey about two year ago.
Our debts came in a few different forms — small credit cards, a car loan, a line of credit and, of course, student loans. Based on the size and interest rates of our various debts, it made the most sense to use the snowball method to structure our repayment plan.
In 2018, we paid off everything except for our student loan.
Our Canada Student Loan
As I mentioned in this post, all of my experience with Canada Student Loans has been secondhand through Jeff.
I used a scholarship and an educational line of credit to pay for university. As a result, I didn’t know anything about student loans until it was time to start paying back Jeff’s.
According to the Canada Student Loan site, our original repayment total was $48, 293.23. Like many student loan borrowers in Canada, we went with a floating interest rate — prime plus 2.5 per cent.
Fast forward to November 10, 2019, our loan total is $31,478.28. The interest rate is 6.45 per cent, which amounts to $4.37 a day.
It’s also incorrect.
Student loan interest rates in Canada
As part of budget 2019, the Canadian federal government announced it would be making some changes to student financial aid. The changes are summarized here; the one that impacts us relates to plans for the interest rate.
Effective November 1, 2019, the variable and fixed interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans were to be reduced. The amount varied depending on the type of interest rate you’re using. For us, the change meant out interest rate would be reduced to prime.
And look, I can’t lie: I was excited about this! It would be nice to not pay interest at all on students loans but this felt like a win. I jotted down the date in my planner. As October wound down, I started to get excited for the change in November.
So imagine my disappointment when the new month began…and nothing changed.
Although the daily interest went down — it has been doing that steadily over the last year, the result of paying down more than $15k of principal — the actual rate remained unchanged.
I checked the calendar. The first day of November fell on a Saturday. Maybe they just don’t update their site on the weekend, I reasoned. I decided to give them a little more time.
A few more days passed. The new payments posted. The section at the bottom of the page told me the information was current. The interest rate stayed the same.
Why you absolutely need to check your Canada student loan account regularly
After eight days, we called the National Student Loan Service Centre to ask about the discrepancy.
It took two calls to get it sorted out…mostly. Both calls confirmed that the interest rate was incorrect. The second rep said fixing it would take up to seven business days.
And you better believe I will be checking the account every single day until it’s resolved.
Which brings me to the whole point of writing this: if you have a student loan, you absolutely need to check your account regularly. You need to make sure the information on your account is up to date and correct — and if it’s not, you need to take action to get it fixed
What to do if your Canada Student Loan interest rate is incorrect
If your interest rate — or anything else — is wrong , you need to contact the National Student Loan Service Centre. It’s that simple.
If you have a student loan, a link to the contact information can be found at the bottom of the account details page.
Yes, there will likely be a wait to get through but the sooner you can get the error corrected, the better.
While I like to think eventually Canada student loans would have noticed and corrected the error, I’m…not convinced. But that’s neither here nor there.
At the end of the day, it is our account and we are responsible for making sure it’s up to date.
I’m not sure when we’ll see the student loan interest rate corrected on our account, but I’m glad to know it’s in the works.
Are you a Canada student loan borrower? I highly recommend checking your account to make sure your interest rate is correct. If it is, that’s awesome; if not, it’s time to pick up the phone.
Have you ever had to call a creditor to ask for a correction to your account?