Tag Archives: Sands & Associates


What to do with Student Loans

As tuition expenses and living costs continue to climb across the province, many students take on student loans to get themselves through their post-secondary years.  While studies have shown that students are optimistic about their ability to earn great wages after graduation, the reality is that many may instead wind up juggling student loans, in addition to other debts accumulated during their academic pursuits.  Whether you’re considering student loans to invest in your education, or you’ve already spent them, read on for tips on managing (and avoiding) student debt:

1)      Make a budget.  Before signing on the dotted line, map out how much money you’ll really need.  Factor in tuition, books, rent, groceries and any other costs of living.  Consider whether or not you can earn some of those funds through a part-time or summer job and have a back-up plan for emergencies or a deficit in what student loans may extend you.  If you’re granted more than you think you need, don’t be tempted to spend it all – avoid taking on more debt than necessary.
2)      Use all the resources available to you.  Do you have an RESP?  Are there grants, scholarships or bursaries you can apply for?  Will your parents be contributing to your education or costs (or housing you in general)?  All these extras can add up to great savings later so explore all the potential benefits and sources of assistance.
3)      Build a post-grad plan.  The responsibilities don’t stop just because school’s out – don’t take one look at your statements and bury your head in the summer’s sand.  Know your loans, grace periods and payment due dates.  Keep in touch with your lenders if you move or your contact information changes.  Figure out a plan to pay down your debts (yes, it may take some time) and again, avoid relying on more credit.
4)      Contact a student financial assistance office, even if your payments are behind.  If your income is falling short of allowing you to make your student loan payments contact your provincial and federal student loan offices.  The government has repayment assistance options in place that may be able to provide relief options for you, like reducing your monthly payment or even forgiving loans in some cases.
5)      Meet with a proposal administrator.  If it’s been more than seven years since you were last a student and those debts are still hanging over your shoulder, contact a licensed proposal administrator and trustee in bankruptcy.  A consumer proposal (or bankruptcy) may be a suitable option for debt relief and a fresh financial start.  If your study-end date is more than five years old, a court may still order your student loans dischargeable under certain conditions.

Debt management strategies generally aren’t something you can find hitting the textbooks, so do yourself a favour and move to the head of the class by educating yourself on how to cope with your student debts.  Knowing is not owing!

For more information on your debt resolution options please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


Bankruptcy VS Credit Counselling

Bankruptcy VS Credit Counselling

Click the above infographic to enlarge.

To arrange a free and confidential consultation to discuss your debt resolution options in one of our 11 lower mainland offices, please contact us.


“How NOT to Solve your Financial Problems” – 5 Mistakes Not to Make When in Debt

We are pleased to release our latest YouTube animated short film focused on highlighting the 5 most common mistakes people make when they find themselves in debt.

Often we see individuals who end up either not helping their situation, or even making it worse by taking one or more of the following actions:

  1. Hiding from your problem – Ignoring your creditors can lead to them taking extraordinary steps to collect, including wage and/or asset seizures.  Staying in communication is often a good way to avoid the shock and surprise of a wage seizure.
  2. Paying off family debt first – Be very careful about who you pay (especially family) if you find yourself in a situation where not all debts will be paid in full.  Paying back family debt in priority to your other debts can be viewed as preferential treatment and can cause you problems in the future.
  3. Getting a co-signor – By co-signing a debt, a person is agreeing to take 100% responsibility for the amounts outstanding (not 50/50 as is commonly believed).  Getting a co-signor will often increase your borrowing limit, but it can also give your creditors additional pockets to collect from in the event you are unable to pay the debt in full.
  4. Paying for debt advice – It should never cost you money to figure out your financial options.  If you’re asked to pay money for debt advice, speak to a Trustee first.  We will meet you at no cost or obligation and can often give you all the information you need to move forward in a free initial meeting.
  5. Cashing in RRSPs – The Government of Canada has specifically exempted these assets from bankruptcy.  Do not cash in RRSPs to pay debts unless you fully understand the rules.  Don’t compromise your retirement to deal with a short term debt problem.

For more information on how a licensed trustee can help you achieve a fresh financial start please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.

CTV News

Debt Settlement Companies Still Operating in BC: Lynda Steele Reports

CTV’s Lynda Steele aims scrutiny at the BC government and their long-standing, yet still unfulfilled, promise to regulate the debt settlement industry today.  With high upfront-fees, no licensing and a distinct lack of regulation, many BC residents continue to spend money on fees to debt settlement companies and are often left with their debt problems aggravated, rather than relieved.

Sands & Associates Vice-president Blair Mantin spoke with Lynda Steele about the pitfalls of unlicensed debt settlement and how consumers wind up  being taken advantage of.  One BC consumer shared her own experience with the debt settlement industry and later went on to use a debt option known as a Consumer Proposal to manage her debts, after losing thousands through debt settlement.  A Consumer Proposal is a payment plan where an individual agrees to pay back a portion of their debt over time, with no further interest charges and a halt to all collection activities.  Debt reductions of 70 to 80 percent in a proposal are not uncommon, as was outlined in today’s story.

To read the full article please click here.

To learn more about consumer proposals please click here.

For a free, confidential consultation with a government-licensed trustee in one of our 11 lower mainland offices, please contact us.


Statute of Limitations and Debts in BC

Blair Mantin, Vice-president of BC’s Sands & Associates, and Scott Marshall of Maritimes-based Allan Marshall & Associates recently spoke with CreditCards.com to help shed light on some of the ins and outs surrounding limitation periods of debt across Canada.

Did you know that the statute of limitations for debts in BC is only 2 years? Read on for other insights and information about how this limitation period could affect you and your debts.

To read the full article please click here.

As the article suggests, anyone considering the statute of limitations as a course of action against their debts, or those seeking alternative solutions should contact a licensed trustee to review all of their options at no cost or obligation.

To meet with us in one of our 11 lower mainland offices, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Debt

Financial expert and Agenomics founder Lee Anne Davies’ recently released book When Life Bites You in the Wallet, (co-authored by Sands & Associates bankruptcy trustee and proposal administrator Blair Mantin), aims to change the way we as consumers think about credit…and how to get in control of it.

Lee Anne shared some Do’s and Don’ts of Debt with BrighterLife.ca that are practical and applicable to real-life situations: from not co-signing loans, to giving yourself financial flexibility (read: it’s not about being anti-debt), to saving for retirement while paying off credit.  Click here to read the full article.

For more information on how a trustee can help you achieve a fresh financial start, please contact us for a free, confidential assessment in one of our eleven lower mainland locations.