Loan Repayment and Incentives

Once you cease full-time studies for a period of six months or longer, you are required to contact the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) office to make arrangements for the repayments or remission (forgiveness) of your student loan. 

Ceasing full-time studies means you:

  • Have competed your program of study;
  • Are no longer enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies;
  • Are enrolled in part-time post-secondary studies or upgrading;
  • Withdrew, or are withdrawing from post-secondary studies;
  • Are taking a semester off, or
  • Dropped some classes and are no longer considered a full-time student according to SFA.

During your six-month interest-free period, the GNWT will not charge interest on your outstanding loan(s). The six-month interest-free period gives you an opportunity to a get a job, plan your budget, and make plans to prepare for loan repayments. 

After the six-month interest-free period expires, interest will commence and you will be required to start monthly payments.

SFA is not responsible for any outstanding interest or principal charges that may incur. Any payments made during the interest-free period are applied directly to the principal of your loan.


There are repayment incentives to encourage northern students to return and reside in the NWT and to help alleviate the burden of student debt. 

Students that have received a student loan under the NWT Student Financial Assistance Act and Regulations may apply for:

  • Loan remission (forgiveness)
  • 0% interest on your loan
  • Annual Northern Bonus of $2,000 (lifetime max of $10,000)


Applications are accepted twice a year and must be submitted by April 15 and October 15, the Northern Bonus can only be received once in a 12-month period. Late applications will not be accepted.

  • April 15 applications will be accepted between March 1 through April 15
  • October 15 applications will be accepted September 1 through October 15

For more information about your student loan and loan repayment, please contact your Finance Officer, Revenue and Collections, or reach out to the SFA office via email at or toll-free at 1-800-661-0793. You can also check out the “When you are out of school” section of the SFA Handbook.

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