Student Loans – Payment Negotiations
Student loan repayment is a problem for thousands of former-students in the Toronto area and all across Canada. Fortunately, the Federal and Ontario Provincial governments have set up programs to help.
If you have Canada Student Loans that were issued after August 1, 2000 and/or Ontario Student Loans that were issued after August 1, 2001 – and you meet the required criteria – you may qualify for a Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) through the National Students Loans Service Center.
If you have Canada Student Loans that were issued before August 1, 2000 and/or Ontario Student Loans that were issued before August 1, 2001 – and meet the criteria – you will need to deal directly with the financial institution(s) that you obtained your loans through. However, you might want to start by checking out the National Students Loans Service Center.
If you have serious financial difficulties, are considering a Consumer Proposal or a Bankruptcy, and it has been seven or more years since you ceased being a student – your Student Loans might be included in the debts you will be discharged from. You will need to speak with your Trustee to make sure you are eligible.
To prepare for your negotiations – here are some useful hints:
- Make sure you have all your documents ready – including a copy of any applications for assistance you have filled in.
- Write out a list of all your questions – before your meeting/phone call.
- Create your own income & expense statement (be realistic and accurate) to clearly show where you are financially.
- Be prepared to make compromises – you may not get the interest reduced but you might get a longer payment term.
- Don’t be defensive – they’ve heard it all before – try and let them know you really want to work this out.
- Don’t make promises you know you can’t keep.
Whatever your situation, take the time to find out what options and programs are available to you.