Many students in Canada today need to get student loans in order to pay for post-secondary education. The cost of school keeps going up and a lot of students find themselves needing to borrow money in order to pay for it. However, once graduating, many students aren’t able to find well-paying jobs in their field right away. This makes it tough to pay back a student loan, which leads to more and more recent graduates looking for student loan debt relief options.
The average student loan in Canada now takes about 14 years to pay back. This can be a big financial burden to a person especially when they are just starting out. Starting salaries are usually not very high for most graduates. Plus, young people are often faced with a variety of other big expenses in their first few years out of school, such as a home, a car, a wedding and raising children. All of these costs eat into their paycheques and make it tough to pay back their debts.
Unfortunately, these situations sometimes lead to young people using credit cards, lines of credit and other loans to fund their lives and pay their bills. This can lead to high amounts of debt and even financial trouble.
The good news is that there are options and student loan debt relief programs out there. Here are five that might help you.
Repayment Assistance Plan
- There are official government programs that can help you lower your payments, through interest relief, in order to make them more affordable. These are available to those who are having trouble making their payments. Such programs are available from both provincial and federal governments.
- You need to apply for the student loan Repayment Assistance Plan through the National Student Loans Service Centre. You must reapply for the plan every six months.
- If accepted, your new payments will be lowered to a more affordable amount. This amount will be based on your family income, the size of your family and the amount of outstanding debt that you have.
- There are also assistance programs available to students with severe permanent disabilities.
- You may be able to take out a new student debt consolidation loan and use this loan to pay your student loan. However, this option is only a helpful form of student loan debt relief if it gives you a lower interest rate than the one you are already paying on your student loan. Otherwise, you could find yourself in debt for longer and paying more interest.
- If your student loans are more than seven years old (meaning that you stopped being a student more than seven years ago) they can automatically be included in a consumer proposal.
- Loans than are less than seven years old cannot be included.
- Even if your student loans are not able to be included in a consumer proposal, you may still wish to pursue this option if you have a number of other debts that you are having difficulty paying.
- A consumer proposal is a situation where you offer to pay your unsecured creditors a portion of what is owed to them over a period of time. The remaining outstanding debt is forgiven if you fulfill all of the duties required of you by the proposal.
- As with a consumer proposal, student loans need to be more than seven years old before you can have them discharged by bankruptcy.
If you’re looking for student loan debt relief, you don’t need to feel as though there is nothing that you can do. It is possible to work out some sort of arrangement that is suitable for your situation. Speaking with a financial professional may be a good idea. For example, a licensed insolvency trustee can review your financial situation and help you understand the options that are available to you.