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Buried77 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27/April/2008 at 10:14pm
Can anyone describe how they've handled this massive debt burden?  I'm in the process of weighing my options since i've recently finished school.
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paulaffleck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulaffleck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/June/2008 at 5:05pm

Graduated with $65,000, worked in Toronto and fell into greater debt, probably $70,000.  Broke up with spend-happy girlfriend, moved out of Toronto, moved in with 2 other guys paying $300 a month rent and put every last cent into loans.  Down to $24K and counting.

 
sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, and never buy anything you don't need....
 
lead a boring life for a time but if the peace of mind is worth more to you than the toys, you'll climb out of it.
 
good luck and stay strong
 
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr. H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/October/2008 at 8:00am
Don't feel alone. I am in the 60k range and I am about to go into repayment. Check out my post in the success forum (debt free in 4 years or less). I am going to try and keep an on-going post of my progress at my attempt to pay it off in 4 years or less.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulaffleck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/October/2008 at 12:39am

What I would like to see is some incentive to pay off loans quickly.  For example, if you owe $50,000 and repay $30,000 in under three years, you get a certain percentage forgiven.  The particulars would have to be worked out, since the nature of particular student loans vary.  But the principle that "repayment behaviour" should be encouraged deserves implementation, I think. 

Perhaps I am drawing a connection where none is deserved, but if our banks get "bailed out" by our federal government, and if that hypothetical bailout is based on any amount of irresponsible sale of risky investment packages, and if banks get forgiven for their miscalculations, should not students get forgiven their miscalculations that their educations would lead to higher incomes?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spinney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/October/2008 at 9:57am
The problem is they don't want you to pay off your loans quickly. Our monetary system is a sham. Every dollar that exists represents a dollar worth of debt, somewhere in the system. Every debt generates interest...which is paid in dollars. There you have the fundamental problem - there will forever be more dollars owed to the banks than actually exist. The banks create that money out of the interest paying bonds that the government hands out to them. For them the longer you take to repay the better.

Defaults are built into the system, it's the whole point. It allows the banks to glean real wealth off the population every time that a debtor is unable to meet the demands met as a result of borrowing money that didn't exist until they borrowed it. The only way we could get early payment incentives is if we elected a government that took the banks out of the equation and did their lending directly to students. Only then will it be possible for morality to overcome greed.

One could argue that early repayment is in itself an incentive, due to lower amounts of interest building up. I was part of the over 50k club myself though, and when your monthly payments are $600+ a month for 15 years cash flow trumps saving on interest. In a case like that the prospect of paying less in the long term just can't compete with security.
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Johnny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/October/2008 at 7:15am

The more your are in debt to the student loan system, the more money it can make. Government agencies like this are for-profit. For instance, CRA is declared a for-profit corporation. CRA heads up the recovery of federal debt (tax and non-tax). That is why people never are able to get out of debt with them. Spinny, you are absolutely right. Defaults are built into the system.   

Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulaffleck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31/October/2008 at 2:19pm
I'd like to resist cynicism of a degree that makes real change seem impossible.  There are some good signs of reform, I'd suggest, such as the new Repayment Assistance Program, for example.  Perhaps this is a sign of real positive change to come. 
 
Dare I even suggest that, perhaps, the Tories are not the "evil" crew many have suggested.
 
 
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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: 02/November/2008 at 5:23am
What new Repayment Assistance Program?  In addition to the Interest Relief and Debt Reduction in Repayment programs? 
 
 
 
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Johnny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/November/2008 at 5:27am
They are looking at an income contingent program for late 2009. However, Canada' interpretation iof income contingency is different than the rest of the world's. For instance, New Zealand has an income contingent policy in respect of student loan repayment. You pay based on your level of income. This new proposed change apparently does not work that way, or at least that is not how it was described to me by the ministry. I think it should be called "you got 15 years to pay back your loan and if you can't, it is gone program".
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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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: 04/November/2008 at 1:17pm

I like the sounds of that payment plan - "you got 15 years to pay back your loan and if you can't, it's gone program"....

I'll have paid $67,500 or thereabouts in interest-only payments after 15 years.  Then what?  They come after me in my retirement years for the original loan amount - $65,000?  Any way you look at it - that's GREEDY, not to mention EVIL!!  I just can't believe what they get away with....
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mr.o Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/November/2008 at 3:03pm
Originally posted by Johnny Johnny wrote:

They are looking at an income contingent program for late 2009. However, Canada' interpretation iof income contingency is different than the rest of the world's. For instance, New Zealand has an income contingent policy in respect of student loan repayment. You pay based on your level of income. This new proposed change apparently does not work that way, or at least that is not how it was described to me by the ministry. I think it should be called "you got 15 years to pay back your loan and if you can't, it is gone program".
 
Finally!!! Thank God some sense is starting to come about! If I were to ever win the 6-49 Lotto and they asked me on camera what I was going to do with the money,I'd tell them I'm going to sue the pants off the federal government over student loans and I'm looking for some great lawyers!!!!  Imagine them still trying to collect my student loan after nearly 25 years......Oh Canada is great all right.......
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I will have around 90k in professional student line of credit (CIBC) and 16k from OSAP. I am studying in the US for my Doctor of Pharmacy. Glanced over my balances this morning and got severely depressed! It is a scary though the amount of money I owe especially in the economy we are living in right now. I am not sure the best route for me to deal with it when I graduate ( in about a year). 
Are there tax credits on repayments?
should I try to pay down as fast as possible, or pay over a longer period and invest?
Consolidate?
My thought process right now is to switch banks to Scotia since they offer premium services and rates to members of Canadian pharmacist Association. Move debt to them. Pay down Line of credit as fast as possible. I will be making ~80k-100k a year right out of school. 
Any thoughts on what the best avenue is?
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I've been out of school since the spring of 2007 and I owe $ 76,000 in debt to the gov't.  I recently applied for the Repayment Assistance and they calculated that my affordable payments are about $ 325.00 per month as opposed to the $ 996.00 that I would be paying without the assistance.  That's great, however I am still concerned that they may change things in the future.  You can qualify for repayment assistance for up to 5 years from graduating with the gov't paying the interest on the loan and you making affordable payments.  After that time you could qualify for repayment assistance with the gov't actually making payments on interest as well as the remaining balance!  They say after 15 years, if you still owe they wipe it away.  For me, I would rather pay it off more quickly - but if they are going to reduce my payments and be easy on me why should I pay back the full amount?  Why not take advantage of their programs?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote old hippy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/February/2010 at 12:10pm
Hi skeptic,
 
You must have had some ambition to go to University in the first place and rack up 76K in debt, earning a degree of some sort?  I remember that attitude when I was on interest relief - it can keep you down, because if you earn too much you don't qualify for the programs.  That's another negative side to the gov't student loan assistance programs - and student loans in general.  I'd be leaning towards paying down the principal if you can...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulaffleck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/February/2010 at 2:08pm
Wrennard

I'd suggest living with friends for about three years, and throw any and all extra money into debt repayment.  You are fortunate enough to expect to earn an income which allows you to pay the debt rapidly, if you commit to continuing to live a student-like existence for a few years.  Resist the urge to buy things unless they are truly needed, and you will be able to repay the debt.  Be thankful that you are able to repay this debt, because some who post here, are not dealing with the stress of financial planning, but the stress of financial emergency.

Best of luck

Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pwwalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/March/2010 at 9:15pm
First post here so I should do a quick background.

Left industry for university to complete an engineering degree only to return back to the same industry with an hourly rate less than I had previously.  To make matters worse, I've been forced to move back in with my parents at the age of 35 (both of which are retirees).  Thank the Lord that I have no wife or kids.

As for a student loan, it's at $72,000 or so and have been out of school since April of 2009 with a worthless mechanical engineering degree.  I've even tried to join the Canadian Forces as a direct-entry officer but barred because I have a kidney stone.  Aside from that, the number of interviews I've had since October of 2008 can be counted on my hands.  EIT positions in engineering now are pretty much non-existent and I know from the experiences of fellow graduates, I'm not alone.

I've been looking for something other than part-time $11.60/hour work since I'm on call and will work one or two shifts a week, then nothing at all for three weeks.  I did have a fulltime position but I knew that particular operation was scheduled to be shut down and everyone to be laid off.   Dropping to part-time was a clever and lucky move on my part since others were laid off outright.  At least I have *some* income to pay for sundries like clothing.

After speaking with a representative about repayment last fall, it turns out that despite making ~$3300 gross in three months, I was still required to pay the full $790.00/mo.  So much for capping loan repayments to 20% of income since my math says that's running nearer to 70% of gross.

This full payment demand made my drop to part-time a necessity because I would have literally been working for nothing ...  At that rate, it would have been difficult to pay for things like auto insurance, which I did need to get to work.

Okay, maybe one has to fill out for RAP which seems quite reasonable.  I did so, or at least I thought I did.  Seems that this operation tends to lose paperwork frequently.

Student Loans have largely stopped calling but have sent me a letter saying that I did not send information.  What information, they don't say.  I've also sent a nice descriptive letter outlining my status way back in September.  Nothing has really changed since we spoke on the phone one time in December but in January, this is what their reply said:

"We requested further documentation from you which was required to complete your application and it was not received. We are therefore unable to complete the assessment of your eligibility for repayment assistance."

The only paperwork that was not filled out and returned was for direct payment methods from my bank, and while there is no income to draw from right now, I've witnessed how student loans managed to get one bank to freeze my sister's account when she went into default for a two-month period during her student loan repayment period.  Or this could be another instance where my paperwork got lost.  I don't know.  They've stopped calling and I'm not chasing them.

I will ... if I ever get a job.  Right now, it's nearly impossible to get an interview.

On position abroad I found that I could apply for only paid 22000EUR so I can't even delude myself into thinking that repaying my student loan would even be possible for me at that income.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marriedwithdebt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/May/2010 at 1:10pm

Though it's comforting to know there are others out there in the same boat, it's still not a comfortable boat to be in. Maybe my story will make you feel better about your own debt load!! Wink

I've got $75,000+ in SL debt plus $11,000 in consumer credit debt. I have an M.A. in sociology from 2006. My husband is a PhD student right now, with $90,000+ in SL debt, plus $35,000 in consumer credit debt. We went to school at the same time and started a family in 2000 (we have three kids now). Student loans were very generous in giving us money to live and of course, back in our undergrad days, it was too easy to get accepted for credit cards, which we racked up buying food and diapers. We've lived paycheck to paycheck while on interest relief for years; only recently have we been making payments (approx $2000 per month). While neither of us have defaulted at all over the past several years despite jumping through treacherous NSLSC and bank procedural hoops and misplaced correspondences every six months to apply for interest relief, the weight of the debt (barely shrinking) is cause for alot of stress.
 
It's sometimes really depressing and disheartening to imagine that we owe about as much as the cost of a decent home. We're in our early 30s, don't own a home, we drive an old van (with bald tires!) I'm fortunate to have a good paying job right now with an NGO, and my hubby is on scholarship, but our kids are getting older (as are we) and we're still living like undergrad students.
 
We're in the process of applying for repayment assistance (again!) since my hubby has the summer off so we don't have to pay out of our teeth for childcare; this is the cycle we're in--you make enough money to pay the bills most of the time, but an added expense (like summer childcare) becomes impossible, especially when you have all other bills/debts to consider, so one of us has to quit working just to save money!! 
 
We've never sought any financial advice; we just seem to manage month to month (sometimes with parental assistance (Yes, I'm 33 and still ask for money from my mom ! Dead). We've learned to live minimalistically, owning one used vehicle, taking the bus, living in a housing cooperative (where we make too much to receive any rent subsidy)--but living with debt has become our lifestyle (not so desired!!). It's embarassing and shameful sometimes to think of how we could have made better choices; however, we did what we had to do to survive while doing what we loved--pursuing education.
 
This is very hard to admit. Would I do it again? Uhh.....
Will I encourage my kids to go to university? Sure, but whatever they decide to do,  they will not be taking out student loans!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/May/2010 at 6:57pm

Hi Married,

Your situation is very interesting. I have quite a few cases that are similar to what you have described. It is very stressful for you both, I know. How has the RAP worked out for you? Are you paying a percentage of your income or is the RAP giving you some relief at all? What have your experiences with the interest relief application process?
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marriedwithdebt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20/May/2010 at 8:00am
Johnny,
 
I believe both my husband and I have exhausted our interest relief and can now only apply for the RAP. I am making my second application right now and the process seems to go more smoothly than the IR process. The payment reductions have made a difference, for example, my total monthly SL payments total about $900.00 and month and while on RAP, my total monthly payments went down to $110.00. Using this, of course we aren't making much of a dent in our debt; however, it helps in the short term. I take one day at a time. Life circumstances always change, our family will grow up, and we will both be working full time. My husband aspires to work in academia in a faculty position, and I've been consistently making career moves that increase opportunities and annual income--it's a team effort! We know eventually we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel; even if we don't make it out entirely! We've been at it so long and seen so many changes to the loan program that perhaps down the road, new changes will come with new government and we'll see some benefit for ourselves. When Y2K was the big concern, I remember secretly wishing the banks would all crash and we'd all magically be released from our debt!! Big smile
 
The interest relief process for us was a nightmare process - paperwork went missing between NSLSC and banks, getting conflicting information from the people you talk to on the phone; even now that you can apply online, you still have to mail in papers; it's a very archaic system!! Angry It's not a process friendly to students, either. Even though my husband is a full time student, he must remain in repayment which means sometimes his scholarship money (for tuition!) goes towards loan payments! Censored THere was even a situation few years ago where he was on interest relief for his NSL but continued making his CIBC loan payments; this was a mistake! It totally screwed up his next application for interest relief because his status with the NSLC and the bank didn't match up. Ridiculous!
 
One of my biggest concerns is what happens to any remaining student loan debt when we die. Will our kids get dinged for it?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/May/2010 at 10:28am
The government is paying the interest though, right?
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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