Confused about what to do next

zoe - Sat, 08/15/2009 - 11:27

I've got a big student loan and now that I hear they no longer have some of the old programs that helped you pay off your loan, I don't know what to do next. My income is low and intermittent right now. Friends say I should go back to school and get a second degree. But now I'm worried that I would get over my head if I took on any more debt. So either way, things look difficult. And I wonder if I'd even qualify for any more loans to go back to school.

Well, there are several

Jeannine Mitchell - Sat, 08/15/2009 - 11:46

Well, there are several things to think about here, but to answer your question, you would probably qualify for new student loans as long as you are in good standing with your current loans. So if you haven't defaulted on your loans, the odds are you could get that help to get a second degree. You could discuss this with your current student loans lender or a financial aid officer at the campus you'd like to attend.
However, you already feel stressed by the debt you have and your first degree hasn't led to much income. I think you should talk to one of the free counsellors in a job assistance program to see if any other training might improve your financial outlook. Sometimes a second degree might not be as useful as a diploma in an applied field or technology, for example. So I'd get some expert advice before taking on more debt.
Even though some programs have closed, you can still get help from those that are there now, and you might get quite a lot of help from the new Canada Student Loans program, RAP. RAP promises to pay off your remaining debt after 15 years if you qualify for the program. For more details, see RAP 101. So don't despair that you'll never be able to get free of this debt. But you do need to be cautious now.
And one last thing, Zoe. You don't say how long you've been out of school, but if you do hope to get help from RAP, you should know that they start your 'clock' back to zero if you go back to school full-time.
So if you were 14 years out of school, for example and therefore 1 year away from debt freedom, but then you took a full-time course, you would have to wait 15 years - for a total of 29 years after your first school program left you with high debts.
Be sure to check in with the forum if you have any further questions. It's good that you are thinking things over before taking the plunge. Your friends may mean well and they might be right, but you're the one that's carrying this debt.

clock back to zero

zoe - Sat, 08/15/2009 - 12:07

Thats a shock. So if I went back to school and still didn't have an adequate income to pay off my loan, I'd be in trouble for another 15 years. Don't they want us to be educated and improve the economy? It's hard to understand the government's thinking on this but I'm glad you told me before i made any decisions.

You're giving out valuable information. Thank you.

spam closure

admin101 - Mon, 02/06/2012 - 07:06

 Forum is closed now due to spam - too much time wasted removing the ad junk.