Student Loans

Help for those struggling with student loans and other debt.

Avoid Student Debt with Loan Advice & Purpose
Alternatives & What to Do If You Can’t Pay It Back 1/4

by Kevin Jones

Trying to avoid student debt may feel like an impossible challenge. This is coupled with the idea that going to college or university is exciting. The idea of paying for it – not so much. Even though we might try to avoid student debt, it’s often needed to help fund an invaluable post-secondary education. But what kind of loan should you get? Are there alternatives to paying tuition? What should you do if you can’t pay your student loan back?

Explore this student debt mini-series for the answers to these questions and more: 

  1. Avoid Student Debt, Loan Purpose, Advice, Alternatives and What to Do if You Can’t Pay It Back 1 / 4 – You are Here
  2. Why Get a Student Loan, Are They Good or Bad and How to Overcome Repayment Problems 2 / 4
  3. Student Loan Debt – How Your Life Can be Affected and How to Solve Repayment Issues 3 / 4
  4. How to Prevent Student Loan Debt and Pay It Off 4 / 4

Why Get a Student Loan?

It may be hard to avoid college debt or university debt. With tuition and living costs constantly on the rise in Canada, getting a student loan is for many the only way to afford a diploma or degree program. Completing a program can be well worth the debt if it opens doors to desired career and life opportunities. However, there are alternatives. For example, working part-time during school or delaying school to work full-time can lower the loan amount you need. On the other hand, if this could have a negative impact on your educational goals, then it may be better to borrow more so that you can focus on school. Whichever way you go, do apply for as many scholarships, bursaries, and grants as possible. This is money you won’t have to pay back, so the more you get, the better.

Avoid Student Debt

Plan to Finance Your Education and Pay Back Anything You Borrowed

When deciding if you’ll get a student loan, consider these 3 goals: completing your education, paying for it, and achieving a solid financial future. If you get a massive loan that covers all your costs now, then your future self could struggle to pay that back later. If not borrowing any money at all forces your education to a standstill. In this case your future self could struggle with career opportunities. Instead, aim to strike a balance that will help you accomplish all 3 goals. For many, this means paying for school with more than just student loans, avoiding other debt, and sticking to a manageable repayment plan after graduating.

Debt Relief for Students
Cut Living Costs Wherever You Can and Pay Bills on Time

Having too much debt is a hard problem to deal with for anyone. It can be especially overwhelming for students. The need to pay for school despite having less time to work can be difficult. While debt relief options do exist, most don’t apply to government student loans. Options tend to become available when you’ve been out of school for at least 7 years. One of the best ways people can find relief is by making lifestyle choices that help lessen their financial burden. This includes:

  • Living with family or roommates to save on housing costs
  • Paying off bills and credit card balances every month
  • Being frugal with spending whenever possible

Even saving small amounts adds up over time and helps take the pressure off. It may feel discouraging to keep up this kind of lifestyle even after graduation. Just remember that it won’t last forever. The sooner your student loan is paid off, the sooner you and your wallet will be free from that big debt.

What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Student Loan Back

Life can be unpredictable. When things don’t go as expected, it can become impossible to pay a big student loan back completely. So then how can you overcome student loan debt? If your loan comes from the provincial or federal government, then contact Canada’s National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). Explain your situation and work with them to find a solution. They can help you to extend your loan’s amortization period. This will help you to lower your monthly payments. Reducing or eliminating interest and other measures may also be possible. 

Are you struggling with non-government debt? A student line of credit or credit cards can be tough to pay back. Rest assured, our non-profit credit counsellors can help you explore possible solutions. We can also help you with debt consolidation or offer other debt management solutions. You can set up a free appointment by calling us at 1-888-527-8999. We can also be reached by email. Our live chat is open as well, so feel free to ask us a question. Your education is important, but so is your financial wellbeing. Help is only a click or call away.

Next up in this mini-series: Why Get a Student Loan, Are They Good or Bad and How to Overcome Repayment Problems 2 / 4

Worried about debt?
Get help to overcome it.
The sooner you start dealing with your debt, the sooner you’ll have it paid off. If you need some help getting started with a plan, or if you’re not sure if your budget is realistic, contact a non-profit credit counsellor for free, confidential help. Typically, the earlier you contact us, the more options you’ll have.

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