Most Canadians will pursue some post-secondary education, and according to Statistics Canada, almost half of those students will take on student loan debt to do it. They might be going back to school to upgrade their training, upgrade their marks, or to entertain a new career altogether.
While it would be nice if there were a one-size-fits-all answer, the truth is that student loans are a personal decision based on your current financial situation. What works for one may not necessarily work for the other. The key to seeing if a student loan may be the best choice for you is to understand what it is for and how it may affect you financially in the future.
A student loan, like any other type of debt, will affect you in the coming years. You need to be certain that you will be financially capable of undertaking this kind of debt and making payments to pay it off. Taking time to look into the pros and cons of student loans up front will help you determine if it’s what you need to reach your future goals!
Are Student Loans Good or Bad?
A student loan is a financial instrument meant to help a student pay for a course or degree and potentially assist in living expenses that they would otherwise be unable to afford. Getting a college or university degree can be costly and student loans are meant to help cover these expenses.
If a student opts not to take out a student loan, they may need to save the full fees upfront, seek family assistance and maybe become a working student, which may put a lot of stress on them while they are trying to get their degree. For certain courses, it might even be near impossible to balance work and studies at the same time. But remember, everyone’s financial circumstances and needs are unique.
Student loans are meant to be paid off when the student graduates and gets a job after graduation. However, the downside is that with all the competition in getting good jobs that pay well, there is no assurance that they will be able to get their dream job and pay off their loans right away… or at all
Do Your Research
Given the long-term impacts of this loan, it is important to conduct research beforehand. Different types of student loans are available and most provinces have varying interest rates, terms and repayment schedules. The best way to make sure that a student loan will work for you is to look into these terms and find one that will meet your needs as well as have agreeable terms that will allow you to make repayments later on.
Overcoming Repayment Problems
There are many options that may be available to you to make repayment of your student loan easier. The best way to go into this situation is to try to lessen (or even pay off) your student loan while you are still in school. You can live at home if possible, take summer jobs, apply for grants, and work towards scholarships that can make the loan amount smaller; and even ask for help from your family to try and shrink the amount you will have to repay.
If you graduate with student loans remaining, your best bet is to make arrangements with the loan provider and communicate your repayment strategy. Like all loans, the quicker you pay your loan off, the less interest you will have to pay.
If you are unable to satisfy the loans on your own, it is okay to ask for help. The reality of having student loan repayment problems is something that many Canadians deal with, even long after their graduation. Despite your best efforts to do this on your own, sometimes cutting expenses, finding a job or multiple jobs and paying down your debt can be overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes you just can’t do it on your own and you may need the help of a professional to deal with your debt.
If you are struggling with debts and student loans and interested in having free initial consultation, please contact Paul J. Pickering and Associates Limited. We offer financial counselling, consumer proposals, proposals and bankruptcies in London and the surrounding area. Contact us today and tell us about your situation to see how we can help you get a fresh start. Call 519-672-2494. www.paulpickering.com