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Appealing Repayment Assistance Monthly Amount

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sourkitten View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24/January/2012 at 6:15am
Has anyone successfully appealed the so-called "affordable" monthly payment given after filing for Repayment Assistance? How did you go about doing so?

I'm having serious trouble with mine. The amount they've set as my monthly payment is just not affordable at all, mostly because I'm also stuck paying a bank loan ($200 a month). Since the bank loan is not a "student loan", they don't consider it towards my monthly budget (they would if it was an actual student loan however). Whether the NSLCS considers it or not, that doesn't excuse me from having to make those payments to the bank.

When I filled out the application, I submitted a letter with my current monthly budget outlining all my costs and expenditures (my gross AND net income minus rent, bills, loan payments, public transportation costs, etc etc etc). I showed how after paying all my bills, I was left with only about $500 a month for groceries, medication (I require several and outlined the costs), personal hygiene items, clothing, etc. I noted in the letter that this budget doesn't leave room for any kind of entertainment costs (I don't think its unreasonable to be able to afford to catch a movie with a friend or something like that), and also noted that my family lives in another province and what it would cost to visit them once or twice a year. I didn't think my budget was being unreasonable, and I asked them to consider setting my monthly payments at $100 a month, which I felt was what I could afford (and still cutting it very close anyway).

They disregarded the letter and set my payments at $200 a month (which is what I was quoted during the pre-approval process over the phone). Totally not affordable for me at this point. The person I spoke to on the phone said it was because they simply won't take my bank loan payments into account (which, if I wasn't making those payments, I could afford the NSLCS payments). I asked if I could appeal the decision and send my budget again to a specific person who might be able to help me, but the person on the phone was not helpful at all. Her advice was to just pay what I could afford and deal with the unpaid amounts at the end of the 6 months. I don't think my financial situation will change so there is no way I could afford to pay the accumulated unpaid amount at the end of the 6 months.

Does anyone have any advice on appealing the amount they set as my monthly payment? Is there someone or a specific department I should call?
I do want to make payments, its not like I want to ignore this completely. I want to work with them, but the payments they decided on are just not affordable for me.

Help?
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old hippy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote old hippy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/February/2012 at 10:31am
Hi, just popping up after a long absence.  How is everyone?  I had a good paying job for several years, and now I'm laid off and looking at this RAP from all angles.  I'm always wary with what the system describes as "affordable".  Couldn't find any income charts anywhere - not sure if they exist.  I come from the IR and debt reduction era - and missed out on any further debt reduction when RAP came into the picture.  All I can find is that the payments will extend no longer than 15 years (great, that's my golden retirement years) and the borrower won't have to pay any more than 20% of their total gross (before tax!) income.  Hmm.....  from my experience, they could care less whether the individual considers the payments to be "affordable" or not, they just follow their latest rules.  But I could be wrong... Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/February/2012 at 1:02pm
Welcome back Old hippy.... was actually thinking about you a while back, wondering how things were going for you..... sorry to hear you got laid ........... off :)   Hope everything works oiut ok.  Let us know how the RAP process works! 
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Mark O'Meara

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sourkitten View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sourkitten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/February/2012 at 1:23pm
It I wasn't paying a bank loan on top of my OSAP payments, their payments actually WOULD be affordable and I wouldn't have that much trouble paying them. Their RAP system isn't so bad as long as you don't have any other debts. I had to take out a bank loan because back when I was in school the max OSAP loan per year was $9000, my tuition was $5500 not including textbooks, my mom was a low-income single parent so no help from family meant I had to find other ways to make ends meet.

Its really too bad they are making this so difficult, because at this point it looks like I'm going to have to just let it go into default and then deal with it (through CFW probably). It would be so much simpler for everyone if they would work with me on this. The payments I'm offering to make are only $75 less than what they want...but that $75 to me means buying groceries for a whole week vs. going hungry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote old hippy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/February/2012 at 1:45pm

sourkitten:  are you sure you'd want to default?  All those pesky collectors calling, and taking your tax refunds/GST,  cleaning out your bank account, etc.  Are interest-only payments an option? 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/February/2012 at 3:07pm
If you default you lose RAP I believe....and you'd lose the option for the lump sum forgiveness,  so as old hippy says, consider that option carefully. I think its actually better to keep making your payments and go to the Food Bank if you have too.  Hopefully they'll make some kind of adjustment.  Keep us posted....  and we'll all hope for some improvements in the system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sourkitten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/February/2012 at 3:33pm
Interest only payments aren't an option, they said I don't qualify because of my income. Which isn't that high either. But even when I was earning just barely above minimum wage they said I didn't qualify for interest only payments. I think part of it is also because I live in Quebec, and they said the cost of living is lower here (not by much though, honestly, and we pay higher income taxes, so it ends up working out to be about the same). 

I literally cannot make the full payments. If I did, something else would have to go unpaid. I live frugally enough already (my jeans/clothes/shoes all have holes in them, my boss has already mentioned I should dress more professionally but I can't afford new clothes, I'm very careful about buying groceries and try to live "on the cheap", never buy my lunch or go out for dinner, haven't had a haircut in over a year, rent is the cheapest I could find without living in a unsafe neighbourhood). There just aren't any more "cut backs" I can possibly make.

Does a loan go into default if I'm continuing to make partial payments? Right now I'm paying what I can afford so that it doesn't seem like I don't want to pay. I do want to pay. I just can't pay the full amount they want. The people on the phone are useless. I'm just wondering if anyone else has appealed their RAP amounts successfully and how did you go about doing it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote old hippy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/February/2012 at 5:34am

Mark, what's the lump sum forgiveness option?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/February/2012 at 8:01am
I could be confused but I thought that there are a couple of stages of RAP. After a certain amount of time I believe they reduce your debt load....   I need to find the links.... 

Found it... in stage 2 the government starts to cover part of the principle...

http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/after/repaymentassistance/rpp.shtml


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rikabee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/January/2017 at 7:18am
I know all of this information. I had my loan transferred from NSLSC to the CRA and back to NSLSC.  I also don't qualify for repayment assistance, but you can keep applying. The best thing to do is apply the MONTH AFTER you have a really low income. Otherwise, you can do this....

Customize Your Repayment Terms

You can change your monthly payment. If you are unable to pay back your loan in the monthly payment amount and time outlined in your Consolidated Student Loan Agreement, or at your current monthly payment amount, a Revision of Terms can help you decrease your monthly repayment amount by extending the amount of time it will take you to pay back your loan. You can also use this program to increase your monthly payments and reduce the amount of time it will take you to pay back your loan. Read more about customizing your repayment terms

As for lump sum forgiveness, it isn't really an option unless you have been in REPAYMENT for like 150 months. You're best bet is to change your loan terms and make whatever payment you can. Let me know if you have any other questions. GOOD LUCK!! 

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