Graduating from post-secondary school can be both exciting and a bit daunting. The transition from student life to the working world can be difficult.
If you’re like the majority of Canadian graduates and borrowed money for your education, how are you going to pay down your student loan?
As a starting point, it’s a good idea to take stalk of your current financial situation and get organized. As a first step, you should know:
Once you’ve got yourself organized you’ll have to figure out where, when, and how to start making payments so you don’t fall behind. You should build loan payments into your budget and do your best to make at least the minimum payments. Speak with your financial institution about setting up automatic payments.
CanLearn’s website also offers a Loan Repayment Estimator to help you estimate the monthly payments you'll need to make to repay your Canada Student Loan or other government student loans.
If you’re having trouble paying back your student loan, you might qualify for the Repayment Assistance Plan or other forms of assistance to help you pay back your loan. You should also contact your provincial/territorial student financial assistance office to find out about their repayment assistance programs.
Be aware that if you file for bankruptcy within seven years of when you cease to be a full-time or part-time student, your student loan cannot be discharged as part of the bankruptcy, and you will remain responsible for paying them. (Under a special “hardship provision”, a court could agree to reduce this period to five years.) Declaring bankruptcy should always be the last resort.
If you borrowed money from a financial institution for your studies and you’re having trouble making your payments, speak with your financial institution about your options. You might be able to negotiate a payment schedule or even a lower interest rate.
For more information on bankruptcy and student loans visit the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy website.