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Student Loans

August 10th, 2005, 08:23 PM
I hate student loans.

When I started school, they had something called "loan forgiveness" on government loans (OSAP). Basically, when you graduate, the evaluate your loan and forgive some of it, usually 30% of your loan. With that I didn't feel so bad getting loans for school. You got your loan documents, took them to your bank, and the bank held the loan.

In my last year of school, they changed the whole system. The government took over all new loans. So I ended up with three loans, one from ontario, and two for canada, one with the government.

After I graduated, I learned that they no longer offered loan forgiveness on old loans, and they have a new thing called "interest relief" where you apply to have the government pay your interest and your principal is put on hold for 6 months.

I finally decided I needed to apply because I am so broke, especially having to buy a new car now.

I spoke with the people at the government, who take care of the application, and the cut off for income is $1800 monthly (for me), and it is entirely based on what you pay in only your government loans!! If you make more than that, regardless of your other bills, loans, payments, including regardless what you pay on your provincial loan, you don't qualify.

Is that stupid or what? It should be based on your financial need, not how much loan you owe to the government only! if I had $500 in government loans, and $20,000 in provincial loans, I would be screwed!

Anyway, so I'm peeved right now....If I didn't have these stupid student loans, I could get my car! I'm going to apply anyway as with my new job my income will be lower, just don't know what yet so I may make the cut off!

August 10th, 2005, 09:09 PM
I would place a complaint, not that it will get you very far on your own but if yours is part of many it may help. They shouldn't change the details of the loan that was taken before the change. That should be honored as it was.

August 10th, 2005, 09:23 PM
Hmmm don't know if it's the same in ONT, but that sounds A LOT like the subject of huge student protests in QC this past year. From my understanding though, the government didn't really care about promises and complaints. :mad:

August 10th, 2005, 10:37 PM
If it's like in Qc, all the outstanding loans BEFORE the change will follow the old rules and the loans received after the change will follow the new rules. :) You should see your school's financial aid office to get to the bottom of it.

August 11th, 2005, 09:16 AM
I feel your pain. I was living on borrowed money because my income was too high. They didn't take into account that I also had a large student line of credit. I went through 3 rule changes, and each loan was subject to the rules of the time, as Prin said. I'd double check that, I don't think you got correct info. I used to work in banking, and I was always the one dealing with student loans. Also, when did you graduate? They usually consolidate your loans at some point, so you only have 2, Ontario and Canada. You can ask the government to re-ammortize your Canada Student loan, which will reduce the monthly payment (I believe. It may be the Ontario. Sorry, now I'm confusing myself). Also, don't consolidate your student loans with bank loans, for two reasons. One, the amortization is longer, so your mandatory payments are lower. If you get to the point where you do have enough income to pay them off faster, make additional payments on your own. And secondly, the interest you are paying on them is tax deductible. If you consolidate them, they are no longer a tax benefit.

August 11th, 2005, 10:48 AM
You lose your tax benefit with a bank but sometimes you save just as much by having a lower interest rate. The rate the government offered me was ridiculous. I took my business to a bank and I'm much happier having it all in one place.

August 11th, 2005, 07:20 PM
This is what the government told me, and what I have researched and read. When I started, it was 97/98 school year. Loan forgiveness was in place at that point. All fine and dandy. After that, they put the "ontario student oportunity grant" in place, which was like a "bonus" against your loan. Same thing though. Anything over $7000 you borrowed (for 2 terms) or $10,500 (for 3 terms) was given back against your loan if you completed the school year.

My first year loan should have had loan forgiveness (didn't get it)
My second and third year loans should have had grants (didn't get any)
My last year had nothing because that was when the program changed...

So...I'm going to write a nice long letter to...OSAP? Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities? Who? Anyone have an idea?

It still sucks though. I pay back in my loan payments almost as much as my rent. If they turn down my loan forgiveness, I am going to ask them to re-evluate my terms, because right now my job takes priority and I need a car, so I will have to take longer to pay off my loans.

August 11th, 2005, 07:24 PM
I'd say to write to all of the above, and anyone else you can think of. No harm in getting everyone's attention! Good luck!!!

August 11th, 2005, 07:37 PM
You should start with your own MPP Raingirl, hopefully a liberal who you should harrass daily LOL Sorry for your pain...Seriously though, when I was in college I spent half my time at my MPPs office cause of OSAP and almost 100 percent of the time what the financial aid officers at the college told me was crap...another thing was when the rules did change people under the old system were "grandfathered" thats how I first came to understand thethe term! Good Luck. One other thing you could try is see the office of the Ombudsmun, they oversee problems related to government programmes.

August 11th, 2005, 07:45 PM
I would write only to one place first. It's very frustrating for people if you send your letters far and wide, and then multiple people start trying to help you, only to bump shoulders.

I would draft a letter to the National Student Loan Centre to address your concerns with the Canada portion of your loans. If they can't help you, they will tell you and then you move on to the next option. Yes, this may take time, but your loans aren't going anywhere.

In the end though, I doubt you'll have very much luck as the OSAP ppl are very strick now. Far too many people abused the liberties offered so they've eliminated them.

Also, your situation is much like thousands of other students out there---unfortunately, your complaint will be but one of a million....just like veterans complaining about their pensions, seniors about the OAS clawback and families about tax credits. It's the "why them and not me" mentality at this point, the people opening the mail have seen it all.

That is not to say that your claims aren't legitimate, but they run deeper than perhaps the people on the phone lines can help you with. They start with the cost of tuition vs. the number of sufficiently paying jobs available to graduates buckled down with student debt.

I don't mean to sound defeatest about your problems, I just know that as a recent graduate battling the burden of student debt myself, I've heard the arguments, read the paper work and weighed the stress of it all. I too had one portion of my loan falling under one set of rules and another portion under the newer I know your position.

Finally, the loan forgiveness worked like this: If you received over 7,000 a year in OSAP funding before the changes, you were waived the amount of dollars loaned to you above and beyond that amount---if you qualified for the opportunity grant.

Anyways, I'm rambling. I wish you the best of luck with your loans--I know they are not fun and feel the weight of them every day's a tough situation to be in, and one day this country will realize this and make a change.

August 12th, 2005, 09:10 AM
You could check the website, too. I actually found that more useful than half the people I talked to. If you have any problems, then go to your MPP. I used them a couple of times, and they were very helpful.