Student Loans

Higher education comes with a big price-tag

Higher education comes with a big price-tag, which most students can’t afford right off the bat. So, they take out loans in order to make it to class and get their degrees, then end up saddled with thousands in debt after graduation. It’s an all-too-common problem.

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David Sklar & Associates Inc.
5.0
Based on 686 reviews
stefania cicchino
13:54 27 Mar 21
We worked with Jackie. She is very professional and very caring. She is quick to respond and really cares about helping the people in front of her. I went with my uncle, who was scared of the whole process and mentally delayed. Jackie took her time with us and made him feel at ease. She carefully explained things multiple times and was very encouraging. She was a shining light in a difficult process.
Christine Lowe
16:44 12 Mar 21
Jackie is very professional, kind, supportive and super helpful. She was able to help me get back on track. Great service and I will definitely recommend them.
Belen Trava
19:01 11 Mar 21
Jackie provided me excellent service, was very helpful, and she made feel very secured and she listened to all my concerns.i was speechless with excellent service.
nicole lowartz
17:02 11 Mar 21
Had a great experience and successful result working with Carol at David Sklar & Associates! I was well informed and received great guidance after just the first conversation! She handled everything and helped me build a budget that is realistic and that i can really stick to! I highly recommend Carol and her team at David Sklar. Give them a call!
Kirah32
02:07 03 Mar 21
I've used these services twice and they have always been understanding, supportive and informative. They give you hope when you feel like there is none. I've referred multiple people to them and they've all had the same professional experiences. Jackie Stanley was amazing and got the job done. Thank you!
Kristine San Gabriel
15:14 02 Mar 21
Dealing with any kind of debt can be stressful. Jackie is amazing! Professional, warm and extremely helpful to say the least! She made sure to answer all of our questions, address any concerns and made this whole process as smooth as possible.
Clayton Surujbally
17:09 18 Feb 21
Working with David Sklar has been an easy and detailed process. I am especially thankful for the personal services provided by Jackie Stanley as she has been very informative and always ready to answer any questions or concerns in a timely manner. I highly suggest working with Jackie if the opportunity presents itself.
Chris Thompson
17:11 07 Feb 21
On February 2 l made the somber driveTo David Sklar and associates.I had known this location from having drovePast it many times over the years.I made a appointment using the phone numberOn their door in Pickering, OntLater that day l had a consultation withTrina Powell.Immediately upon meeting with her l wasBecomming more relaxed with the proceedings.Trina, was very down to earth, and very professional.We all have our calling, l can only gather sheHas found hers, and she is very good at herJob, and career.I met with her again two days later but on thisVisit l felt more relaxed, and self assured of myDecisions, having already met with Trina.Thank you! Hat's off to you.I also had a phone zoom call with MarkTo whom as well was very easy, and comfortableTo talk to,Thank you, Mark.The team at David Sklar and associatesShould take great pride, and comfort when theyHelp people, like me and probably so many others.Thank you.
Desiree Balkaran
17:09 07 Feb 21
I have dealt with this company before many years ago when I did my bankruptcy , and found to be very trustworthy, professional, and right at ease. No judgement, very understanding and very supportive. So of course would come to then again when this time did the debt consolidation. The staff is friendly and goes over all the details with you and answers all your questions so you know exactly what to expect and make an informative decisison. I aslo like how if I had any questions could leave a message or email the company and how promptly they answer me back. Thank you David Sklar & Associates for getting me back on the right track and living a life of debt free again. I have my freedom back thank you for all your help and support. Amen 🙏
Elizabeth Thomas
09:18 04 Feb 21
I am so grateful to Rhoda Lewis for an amazing opportunity to start fresh, she is very knowledgeable, professional and very friendly. I felt so comfortable from the moment I walked into her office, I definitely would recommend Rhoda to anyone who is looking for help. I love and appreciate you very much for helping me. After all these years I still kept in touch with you via email just to say thank you. Thank you again so very much and continued blessings.
Andrei Podeanu
02:09 01 Feb 21
Jackie Stanley will take you step by step in explaining the process professionally, answering all the question I had over the telephone or e-mail. We are very satisfied and grateful for her work and effort. Dan Podeanu
Daniel Domingues
22:19 23 Jan 21
Ashley Carter was very nice to me and professional and she helped me with my issue and she answer my questions in email. She helped me a lot and she gave me less stress.
1 blaze
18:36 21 Jan 21
Jackie Stanley take you step by step in explaining the process professionally, replying on our every question over the telephone or e-mail. We are very satisfied and grateful for her work and effort.
Tree Broker
14:33 20 Jan 21
Jackie and the team at David Sklar and Associates took my very stressful situation and made me feel at ease. I was treated with respect and understanding from the start of my process right through to the end. Prompt email and phone responses made it feel like I was at the top of their priority list.Jackie and the team at David Sklar are the best in the business. I would highly recommend using their services.
Jeremy Y
14:04 20 Jan 21
Has helped me put to gather all my financial debt and find a reasonable offer and deal in making payments towards all my debts as one. Has been patient and kind service one on one. A big thanks to Jackie for helping guide me through my process!
WhoisDriaB
02:09 20 Jan 21
Jackie is an amazing person, she takes her time to make sure you understand everything. Every question I had she was always a email or text away with a quick response. Thank you again
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STUDENT DEBT IN CANADA

Canada is currently in the midst of a student debt crisis. Over 20% of Bachelor degree holders graduate from their programs owing more than $25,000 in debt. Those findings are from 2017 — the numbers have likely grown since then. Tuition costs have gone up every single year for the past three decades, and the majority of students are having trouble keeping up.

 

According to Statistics Canada, undergraduate students currently pay an average of $6,838 for tuition in a single year. In 2017, that average was approximately $6,500 a year. Graduate students pay an average of $7,086 per year. And the following specialty programs come with astronomical tuitions in Canada:
 

  • Pharmacy: $10,746 a year
  • Law: $13,332 a year
  • Medicine: $14,780 a year
  • Dentistry: $23,474 a year

 

The steady rise in tuition costs isn’t the only thing causing students to take out massive loans. The student debt crisis is aided by precarious employment and stagnant wages — these can barely cover the costs of living in the GTA, let alone the rising costs of higher education.

 

Decades ago, students could pay off their yearly tuition with the money that they made during a summer job. Now, a student would have to make almost $7000 from seasonal employment. The minimum wage in Ontario is currently $14.00 an hour — this means that students would have to work over 490 hours just to match the price of tuition. If they worked for forty hours a week for three months straight at a minimum wage job and saved every single penny of their paycheques, they would still come up short.

 

Plus, tuition isn’t the only expense that comes with the university/college experience. Students have to pay for books, dorm rooms/rent, utilities, food, transportation, phone bills and more. When you tally up the costs, it’s easy to see why so many people turn to loans for help.

STUDENT LOAN CHALLENGES IN ONTARIO

A steep tuition rate is one thing that makes paying for secondary education difficult. Another challenge is student loan interest. These interest rates make your debt grow long after you’ve received your cap, gown and diploma.

 

When it comes to federal student loans, applicants are given a six-month grace period after graduating where they won’t have to start their repayment plan. The grace period allows for graduates to adjust from their full-time schooling to find full-time employment.

 

Previously, federal loans during the grace period were still subjected to accruing interest. Although you had the opportunity to delay your repayment plan, you would dig deeper into debt. Now, graduates are free from collecting interest during the grace period.

 

Unfortunately, provincial student loans don’t carry the same benefit for applicants. In January 2019, the Ontario Government announced that OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) would undergo some changes in the upcoming year. One of the biggest changes was that the six-month interest-free grace period has ended — the loans will collect interest from the moment that students graduate. Now, students using OSAP will be given no interest-free buffer between their schooling and their job hunt.

 

Many shared their worries about the changes for OSAP grants and loans on social media. They were upset that they would get less funding and face greater debt than they did the year before. They wondered if they could even afford to stay in their programs. And some admitted that they would be forced to juggle employment with their full course load in order to make ends meet.

Student Loan Repayment Relief plans

Maybe you’re struggling to find stable employment and you’re not bringing in enough income to settle the repayments. Maybe you’re dealing with other types of unsecured debt and your student loans are taking the backseat to higher interest rates. Whatever the reason, you should know that there are resources that can help you repay your student loans.

 

Start by trying out Student Loan Repayment Relief plans for provincial and federal loans: 

  • OSAP’s Repayment Assistance Plan
  • Canada’s Repayment Assistance Plan
  • National Student Loans Service Centre

 

 

These will be your most straightforward options. You may be tempted to try student loan debt consolidation but that move comes with several downsides. Debt consolidation loans often have high-interest rates — student loans don’t. Taking out a consolidation loan in order to pay off the student debt isn’t the best strategy since your debt from the former loan will build up much faster. Your resolution could end up costing you more in the long-run.

 

Plus, a debt consolidation loan will eliminate the possibility of filing for a tax break.

 

So, what other options are there? When you’re struggling with insolvency, and you’re looking for a crucial form of debt relief, you have two options: a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy.

CONSUMER PROPOSALS AND PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY 

A consumer proposal is a legally binding agreement made between a debtor and their unsecured creditors, giving them a lowered amount to pay off over a maximum five-year period.

 

Personal bankruptcy is the legal declaration of insolvency, followed by the settlement of major assets and the distribution to creditors. It is usually thought of as a last resort. Licensed insolvency trustees will check to see if you’re a more suitable candidate for a consumer proposal before suggesting a bankruptcy filing.

 

The problem is that graduates looking for student debt help will meet some roadblocks with consumer proposals and bankruptcy filings. There are specific guidelines for Student Loans. If you don’t meet those guidelines, these relief methods will not help rid you of the student loan debt.

 

To be able to rid yourself of your student loan debt in a bankruptcy, you must have ceased being a student for a minimum of seven years. The seven-year qualification also applies to student loan debt and consumer proposals — along with restrictions for the repayment process. The Student Loans Program participates in dividends during the proposal or bankruptcy. Once the proposal or bankruptcy is complete, you will still have to pay the outstanding balance, plus the interest, minus the dividends. If you ceased being a student more than seven years prior to filing the proposal or bankruptcy, when the proposal or bankruptcy is complete, your student loan debt is considered paid in full.

Speak to a Licensed Debt Professional

If you’re having trouble with your student debt and live in Ontario, you can always book a consultation with one of the licensed insolvency trustees at David Sklar & Associates for assistance.

 

You’re not alone. Many Canadians are struggling with the burden of student loan debt long after graduating from their program. The positive news is that many Canadians have also found a way to relieve themselves of that burden — and you can, too. Follow these financial tips and you can say goodbye to your student loans forever.