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It’s no secret that post-secondary education is expensive. No matter how many corners you try to cut, chances are pretty good that you’ll have at least some student loan debt by the time you graduate. But what if you find that you can’t repay that debt? Or that you’re having trouble doing so?
In the current economic market, many university graduates find themselves in exactly this position. Unable to find work in their field, they’re forced to take lower-paying jobs that barely meet living expenses, let alone allow them to pay off their student loans. Fortunately, there are steps you can take if you are in this position.
- If you obtained your student loans through your provincial student loan program, you can apply for repayment assistance. (Residents of Quebec may apply to that province under the deferred payment plan.)
- You can also request a revision of terms from the National Student Loan Service Centre or the financial institution through which you arranged your student loan.
- While student loans are not generally discharged by bankruptcy unless you’ve been out of school for seven years, you may be able to apply after five years for an early discharge under the “hardship provision”. If you are or have been bankrupt (or if you’ve filed a consumer proposal), you should speak with your trustee about this option.
- If you have other unsecured debts besides your student loans, you may be able to make managing your student loan payments easier by making a consumer proposal.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with student loan debt (or any other debt) is that avoiding the problem will not make it go away. If you’re not meeting your payments—or if you’re consistently late with them—it will have a negative impact on your credit rating. It’s always best to seek help now rather than waiting until your financial situation has deteriorated even further.
If you have any questions about how to best manage your student loan or other debt, call us now for your free, no obligation consultation: in Ottawa call 613-237-5555; out of town, call toll-free 1-800-517-9926 or book online now.