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Sands & Associates Vice-President and licensed Trustee Blair Mantin appeared on today’s CTV Morning Live segment “Ask an Expert”. Today’s segment looked at how students can tackle their student loans.

Recent studies have shown that students may be extremely optimistic about their financial future and abilities to repay their student debts, despite the growing cost of living and ever-increasing tuition expenses. The financial reality, however, is that individuals carrying student debts are among the most financially at-risk groups facing insolvency.

Watch the clip here, and read more below:

Before you sign for your student loan

Students:

  • Map out how much money you’ll need, factoring in tuition, books, rent, groceries and any other costs of living.
  • Consider whether or not you can earn income via a part-time job while in school.
  • Investigate all available resources, such as RESPs or scholarships and bursaries.
  • Have a back-up plan for emergencies or in case your anticipated student loan does not come through.
  • Don’t be tempted to spend all your funding if you don’t need to – avoid taking on more debt than necessary.

Parents:

  • Think carefully before co-signing for your children’s education costs. In the event that the debt defaults, the creditors will be able to pursue you for the full amount due.
  • Consider whether or not parent-funding will place an unmanageable strain on your own finances. Many pre-retirement individuals are faced with financial pressures supporting both younger and older dependents.

Post-grad

  • Figure out a plan for how you will pay off your student debt. (Yes, it may take some time).
  • Be realistic about how much you can afford to repay each month.
  • Know your debts, grace periods and payment due dates.
  • Avoid relying on more credit!

What Should You Do if You Can’t Make Your Student Loan Payments?

  • Whether or not your payments are behind, don’t delay in contacting the relevant student financial assistance office.
    • The government has repayment assistance options at federal and provincial levels that may provide relief for you, such as reducing your monthly payments or even forgiving loan interest in some cases.
  • Contact a local Licensed Insolvency Trustee to discuss your situation and consider all your options.
    • Bank-based student debts can be wiped out like any other type of debt in a Consumer Proposal or bankruptcy.
    • Government-loaned student debts can be cleared and forgiven under a Consumer Proposal or bankruptcy if it has been more than seven years since you were last a student.
    • If your studies ended in the last seven years you could have relief from repaying your government student loans while you deal with other debts, either with a non-borrowing Consumer Proposal consolidation that cuts debt down to what you can afford, or by debt forgiveness achieved through personal bankruptcy.
  • A court may order your student loans be discharged (forgiven) under certain hardship conditions if your study-end date is more than five years old, but less than seven.

With over 30 years of experience, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on assisting individuals and small businesses achieve their “debt-free” goals. You are not alone, we are here to help you!

Book your free confidential debt consultation today to connect with a caring non-judgmental Sands & Associates debt expert. We serve residents across BC.

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