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Students: Reduce Your Debt and Save For A Secure Future

Many students look forward to finishing their education. They also hope to find work, and start being able to pay down their student loans. But for many, it can be a challenge to have to reduce their debt by repaying student loans and it could also be a source of anxiety. Students in and around Sydney are certainly no strangers to student debt.

November is Financial Literacy Month (FLM) and marks a perfect time for students and graduates to brush up on financial concepts and processes. Considering that Ontario residents have seen their debt balances rise this year, and the average household debt-to-income ratio is $1.65 for every dollar of disposable income, now is a good time to brush up on personal financial knowledge.

Managing Student Debt and Saving

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) offers demographic and student debt-specific information that can help you make informed decisions about saving for the future. Applying these tools to your own unique financial situation is especially important now because Canada is experiencing low interest rates that affect the long-term strategies and successes of saving, both for the near future, and for retirement. The Bank of Canada advises that for many Canadians, financial security is dependent on saving more, saving for a longer period of time, and having diverse or agile investments.

Student tuition rates in Canada leave many students carrying a large debt load after graduation. Also, for some, a student loan is one of the first debt repayments they have to make. Managing that repayment along with taking on other financial responsibilities, such as the cost of housing, vehicle payments, and general living costs like food and entertainment, can cause stress, but with the right knowledge, it can be manageable.

Student Debt Repayment Assistance

While finding work right after graduation is ideal, it’s not always possible. If you find you need more help to pay off your student loan debt, you may consider learning about the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP). With the RAP, your student loan payments would either be reduced or you would not have to make any payments. You can check to see if you are eligible for repayment assistance and you may qualify if you reside in Canada, at least six months have passed since you graduated or left school, and your loans are up to date.

FCAC’s Useful Financial Resources

The FCAC also provides calculators and budgeting tools to support your goal of student loan repayment and help you put money away for the future.

With the help of FCAC literacy programs and resources, you can take your knowledge of your own finances from a beginner to an expert level, and learn how to spend and save more confidently. Plan to repay your student loans early, so that you can ensure you have the best strategy for your personal financial situation to reduce your debt.

How are you managing student debt? Tell us your story on Twitter by using the hashtags #FLM2016, #LetsTalkDebt and #BDODebtRelief.

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