Refuse to be Passive

Why I Wish for Student Loans

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

It’s not too often you hear someone say, “Man, I wish I could get student loans.” Most people don’t really want to go into debt to finance their education. But, when your option is between going to school or not, government student funding may be a reality. That is, if you can get government student funding. In Canada, most public post-secondary institutions have gone through the process to allow their students to apply for government student loans. But some schools, like many private vocational schools, have not. As such, students attending those schools can’t get government student loans. These students, such as myself, need to rely on savings, working, and a student line of credit from the bank. Thus, it is with a slightly heavy heart that I find myself wishing I could apply for government student loans. Why? Let me tell you.

1. Government issued student loans are interest free as long as you’re a full-time post-secondary student

2. When you apply for a government student loan, you’re also applying for grants and bursaries– non-repayable monies that the government gives you if your income/ your parents income falls below a certain level. Canada Study Grants range from $800-$2,000

3. In Alberta, you can receive up to $13,300 in loans each year! And they’re interest free until you finish school! Crazy. My bank line of credit makes me pay interest as soon as I borrow the money, and once you’re out of school, principle payments on top of that.

4. 6-month grace period. With a government student loan, for six months after you’re finished attending school, your loan accrues interest, but no payments need to be made, not on interest or principle.

5. Loan Repayment Help– If you graduate and are having issues paying back your student loans, the government has programs in place to help! Depending on the province you’re from, there may be in-course or post-graduation loan forgiveness, meaning part of your loan might not have to be repaid. Yippee! If loan forgiveness isn’t an option, there’s always RAP, the Repayment Assistance Program, which may allow for more affordable monthly payments, with the government covering your interest charges. And if you need to be on RAP for more than five years, they’ll also help cover a portion of your principle! Once again, my bank isn’t doing that for me.

So yes, school is expensive. But if you’re eligible to apply for government student loans for the institution you’re attending, say a brief thank-you to God, because not all of us are.

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