Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Canadian Law Students => Topic started by: FunkyzeitmitBruno on February 16, 2007, 04:38:23 PM

Title: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: FunkyzeitmitBruno on February 16, 2007, 04:38:23 PM
I realize this has been discussed in previous threads, but often the information is disorganized or unclear. Basically I'm looking for comprehensive information about what options do Canadians use for loans.

I've researched of about 4 options (unless you go to HYS which provide loan programs for int'l students).

1. Canhelp
2. Canadian banks
3. Provincial gov't
4. Big US banks

Basically I'm wondering which of these 4 options is best or feasible. I know Canhelp has high interest rates. Canadian banks have strict loan limits. Prov. governments have very strict limits so this is basically unusable. I'm actually not sure about (4) but I've heard that large US banks (i.e. Citibank) can access Canadian credit history and be willing to give you a loan (this is case-by-case).

Also with option (2), what loan terms and limits have people been able to negotiate? Also, how do they disburse the loan to the US law school? Will having your parents cosign the loan really raise the loan limit and improve the terms?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on February 16, 2007, 05:53:25 PM
These are really good questions.  I'm BAFFing.

1.  You should ask gillesthegreat about this.  They're good for people who don't have co-signers, but their interest rates are high and they're apparently incredibly slow to respond. 

2.  Good f-ing question.  I still haven't been able to find a bank that will provide a student loan without a co-signer.  Please let me know if you find one.  It's ridiculous.

3.  Most provincial government plans are similar to Alberta's, IIRC.  I worked out that, along with government loans, I'm eligible for a life-time maximum of $70K (Canadian).  However, I'm only eligible for about $14K (Canadian) a year, and I think that's fairly standard across the country.

4.  Who knows?  I'm still trying to figure this out.  @#!*, I hope someone has a few stories to give me hope in this regard.


Basically, with the exception of CanHelp (depending on your credit history) and the provincial/national government loans, you can't even GET a loan without a co-signer (usually, your parents).  For all options sans government loans, a co-signer improves the terms and usually raises the loan limits.

Honestly, though, without a co-signer, you're looking at about $30K US in loans per year (unless you have a long, established, and GOOD credit history).  That's probably not going to be enough to prove to the school/the US government that you can afford your education, which might mean being turned around when you go pick up your F-1.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: FunkyzeitmitBruno on February 19, 2007, 07:08:11 AM
Bump for more opinions/experiences on the OP. I can get my parents (CDN citizens with solid income, credit history, etc.) to cosign my loan if need be. I don't have a US cosigner. I've also researched a couple more options: the Global Student Loan Program and TERI organization but will need to contact them for more info. If any Canadians/internationals have experiences or info on topic, please add to the thread.

PS: particularly info on getting loans from Canadian banks, since they seem to offer the best rates, just an issue of negotiating higher limits (I do have my parents to cosign). Also, for this option, how do they actually lend you the money since you are studying in a US school and they obviously don't have branches in the states.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: thestradgirl on February 19, 2007, 07:10:14 AM
baffbaffbaffbaffbaff
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: MorningStar on February 19, 2007, 11:24:43 AM
3.  Don't Provincial student loans require that you attend a Canadian institution?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on February 19, 2007, 12:35:16 PM
3.  Don't Provincial student loans require that you attend a Canadian institution?


No.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on February 19, 2007, 12:41:25 PM
Bump for more opinions/experiences on the OP. I can get my parents (CDN citizens with solid income, credit history, etc.) to cosign my loan if need be. I don't have a US cosigner. I've also researched a couple more options: the Global Student Loan Program and TERI organization but will need to contact them for more info. If any Canadians/internationals have experiences or info on topic, please add to the thread.

PS: particularly info on getting loans from Canadian banks, since they seem to offer the best rates, just an issue of negotiating higher limits (I do have my parents to cosign). Also, for this option, how do they actually lend you the money since you are studying in a US school and they obviously don't have branches in the states.


I've talked to people at the GSLP (at least, I think this is the one).  It's a great idea, but they're very limited right now.  They only cover a few law schools and are very slow in adding new ones.  I wouldn't count on this unless you're going to NYU, in which case I think it's a viable (and probably pretty good) loan option.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ButImAGilmore on February 22, 2007, 09:58:31 AM
1. I have heard they are extremely slow and not the best option, but since you can defer your interest payments, they are definitely a better option than Canadian banks
2. I have managed to get 2 Canadian banks to agree to finance my US law school education providing my parents secure it. The first one had no issue, the second agreed upon being confronted with losing a client to a competitor. Oh bank competition. How you are so good to me  :D
Only problem with this option is that you have to pay the interest every month while you are in law school.
3. I don't know about other provinces, but Ontario's OSAP gives you less money to go to a non-Canadian school. I can't even consider this option because my parents earn too much for me to be considered.
4. Some schools have agreements with US banks that let internationals borrow, even without a cosigner (NYU comes to mind). If you go to school in MA you can get loans through MEFA. They allow Canadians to have a Canadian cosigner.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: radar1 on February 22, 2007, 11:07:39 AM
PS: particularly info on getting loans from Canadian banks, since they seem to offer the best rates, just an issue of negotiating higher limits (I do have my parents to cosign). Also, for this option, how do they actually lend you the money since you are studying in a US school and they obviously don't have branches in the states.

Royal Bank's website claims that they will offer pretty substantial loans to law students. 

http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/RBC:RPtxBI71A8YAAcQCd24/products/personalloans/rcl_for_students_pro.html :

 The Royal Credit Line for Students - Professional Designation, is available for students pursuing select degrees that include, ....law.

Depending on your degree, you may qualify for a credit limit of $55,000 to $150,000.


I think how much they will lend you might also depend on where you're going to attend. ex. if you're going to a top school where grads' average starting salaries are around 200K, they will likely be more comfortable lending you 150K.


And as for getting the money to you while in the US - both Royal Bank and TD have extensive banking networks in the states through their subsidiaries (RBC Centura, and TD Bank North).  I live in the US now and have accounts setup through RBC. It works like this:

They open a US dollar account for you at a RBC branch in Canada, and they open a checking account with RBC Centura (in North Carolina, but it doesn't really matter - I do everything online or by mail).  Those two accounts are linked, so when you use their online banking site, you can transfer money, max $10,000 dollars at a time between your two accounts, without paying tax or any fees. They give you separate checks, credit cards, and debit cards to use for the US account.

Sorry if this sounds like an RBC commercial.. But it's really the only time in my life I've been impressed with a bank's service.  I've had bad experience with TD, so I don't know too much about what they offer. In '06 they merged their operations with their Banknorth branch, so now I think they offer something similar to what RBC has (but I think they only can transfer over the phone, not online).  But if you're going to attend in the Northeast, they might be a better bet (they are all over new england, and have 2 branches in NYC).


 
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Lil Orphan Annie on February 27, 2007, 07:45:56 PM
I got a 60,000 loan (CDN) from BMO, but my parents had to put the house up as mortgage. And that's only for one year. I'm going to school in Massachusetts so maybe next year I'll try MEFA or something.  I'm relieved I have enough to cover me for one year, but yeah, you do have to pay interest while you're in school, so that sucks.  I just hope they don't expect me to make payments right back away the first year if I'm not getting another loan the second year.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: cantmakeupmymind on March 02, 2007, 11:15:17 AM
So glad I came across this post. I'll be headed south for Law in August and I'm scrounging for change to do this too (ya know, that 5 figure kinda change).

Here are my opintions on the options you listed:

1. Canhelp

High interest here. The Financial Aid officer at my school said that most Canadian students already there use this option. I can't figure out why. The banks offer MUCH better deals.

2. Canadian banks

This looks like the best bet. If you have a co-signer, you're all set. I shopped around for loans and for me, it looks like Scotia's Line of Credit is the best bet. I wouldn't recommend TD having dealt with them during my undergrad. They were sticking to prime + 2%, which sucks balls. I think BMO and RBC offerd prime + 1.5%. Scotia offered prime + a HALF. Yes, a half. Whether they carry through with this once my application is in, we'll see. Scotia also went higher on the loan limit. I think BMO was also good about this.

3. Provincial gov't

Having been out from the parental wing for 4 years now, I finally qualify for some of this cake. I think it maxes out at about $6000 if you're attending school out of province.

4. Big US banks

If you can get a US guarantor, this doesn't seem to be a problem. And it's definately a good idea to get some US credit going while you're over there anyhow.

5. Prostitution

But the moral implications may be offputting.

What has everyone else's experiences with the Canadian banks been?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 02, 2007, 01:16:36 PM
That's basically all the same as my conclusion.  I like the detailed info on the banks, although that probably won't matter to me -- I simply can't get a cosigner.

Which is, coincidentally, the reason why so many Canadian students use CanHelp.  It's the only service that offers a substantial loan with deferred payments and without a cosigner (up to $20K a year).
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Lil Orphan Annie on March 02, 2007, 03:39:23 PM
Yes, but the problem is the typical Canadian going south needs much more than 20,000/year. I mean, it's a good amount and it sure helps, but it's sooo much easier just getting one solid loan at one bank.  As opposed to having to pay back multiple banks/organizations.

I think BMO's rate is prime plus half a percent, which is quite good.  (6.5% for me).  You really have to wrangle with them to up the limit from 20,000, but if you have a co-signer it should be OK.

It also sucks that a lot of scholarships I've looked at are only eligible to U.S. citizens.  Oh well.

It's great if you have a U.S. cosigner and whatnot, but I think it may pose a problem if you're trying to get your student visa if it shows you have some significant ties to someone in the States (i.e., you might stay in the States).  I'm kind of nervous about the whole visa thing so I wouldn't risk it, although you do need proof of sufficient funds to get the visa in the first place, so it just seems like a circular pattern of hell to get everything in place, ugh.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: MorningStar on March 02, 2007, 04:20:31 PM
L.O.A have you applied to Canadian schools?  The cost vs. benefit of going to a U.S LS on debt doesn't seem to be worth it if you're attending a school like Suffolks.  I really don't mean for that to sound rude or arrogant.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Lil Orphan Annie on March 02, 2007, 04:48:53 PM
L.O.A have you applied to Canadian schools?  The cost vs. benefit of going to a U.S LS on debt doesn't seem to be worth it if you're attending a school like Suffolks.  I really don't mean for that to sound rude or arrogant.

My LSAT isn't high enough for Canadian schools, nor do I have much hope it ever will be :(
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: FunkyzeitmitBruno on March 02, 2007, 05:00:38 PM
Ok so is there a consensus that if parents (who have good reliable income, good credit history, etc.) cosign the loan, the Canadian banks will be willing to raise the limits on the loan?

Also will the Canadian banks give you a loan or a student line of credit (the latter being typical if you go to a Canadian school)?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 02, 2007, 05:03:33 PM
Yes, but the problem is the typical Canadian going south needs much more than 20,000/year. I mean, it's a good amount and it sure helps, but it's sooo much easier just getting one solid loan at one bank.  As opposed to having to pay back multiple banks/organizations.

I think BMO's rate is prime plus half a percent, which is quite good.  (6.5% for me).  You really have to wrangle with them to up the limit from 20,000, but if you have a co-signer it should be OK.




You seem to have missed my point.  Bank loans are the preferable option for the most part, except for two factors:

1.  They all require a cosigner who has to put up considerable collateral.
2.  Almost none of them offer deferred payment options.

These would be the two reasons many students would use them, as a boost on top of such things as private savings, provincial student loans, scholarships, and private family investments, all of which (together) may not quite cover the cost of tuition and living expenses.
  

And to Funky:

From what I've been able to find out, unless you have a long and considerably excellent personal credit history, you won't even be able to GET the loan without that cosigner.



LOA: 

What Canadian schools are you thinking about?  What was your LSAT score (PM me)?  Canadian schools focus much less on the LSAT than most US schools.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 03, 2007, 03:38:51 PM
eeek! just went through the preliminary loan application at RBC. Initially they said I could get a max of $30,000 ($55,000 - existing student loans)! I argued and they said they would apply for a higher amount. Now we wait until monday. Oh to be a medical student with their $150,000 limit.

Anyway, I'll advise on how the app went come monday.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Shady Lady on March 04, 2007, 07:17:52 PM
hey all,

glad we're bumping this topic since it seems to be a source of stress for us all.

so does canhelp max out at $20 000 a year regardless of your credit history? As Memories mentioned, most of us are looking at much more than that. To get my VISA, I require proof of $47 000 USD, so about $50 000 Canadian.

All the banks I have spoken with have said to go for the total loan amount I'd need NOW rather than later, so apply for $150 000 now as opposed to $50 000 per year. How's everyone else doing this: year by year or lump chunk now?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 04, 2007, 08:22:05 PM
If I can, I prefer a lump chunk.

I'd have to check when I get home, but I'm pretty sure that you can't get any more than $20K on your own signature.  You'd require a co-signer to get the rest, and I think you can take out up to $45K per year through CanHelp.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 05, 2007, 10:30:56 PM
sans parental support (in terms of putting the house up as security), RBC is royally unhelpful. ~$30,000 max after deduction of current student loans. Even after name dropping with the best of them.

hmph. need new options.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: cantmakeupmymind on March 06, 2007, 06:19:21 AM
would it be possible to use multiple sources? you take a loan just in your name, your parents can co-sign on one with you, and then also do CanHelp?

Have you tried BMO and Scotia? I seriously wouldn't recommend TD.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: FunkyzeitmitBruno on March 06, 2007, 07:36:31 AM
would it be possible to use multiple sources? you take a loan just in your name, your parents can co-sign on one with you, and then also do CanHelp?

Have you tried BMO and Scotia? I seriously wouldn't recommend TD.

Why not TD? My parents have a long and excellent history with TD, so when I was talking to them about taking out a loan, they seemed pretty confident they could negotiate something.

Also to ouch: Did you just do an online application or did you actually schedule an appointment, try to convince them of NYU's job placement and salary numbers, etc. Do you think with parents cosigning and putting up collateral, along with no previous student debts, the RBC would be more generous?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 06, 2007, 11:27:03 AM
sans parental support (in terms of putting the house up as security), RBC is royally unhelpful. ~$30,000 max after deduction of current student loans. Even after name dropping with the best of them.

hmph. need new options.


Dude.  Was all that WITHOUT a cosigner?  As in, completely?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 06, 2007, 02:24:41 PM
I applied for ~$150,000 (what I would probably need!) over the phone attempting to convince them of NYU's job placement and that was rejected. The man who phoned me suggested that I would be much more likely to get the $55,000 which, minus my student debt, would come to ~$30,000. This is, as far as I am aware (having not actually gotten the loan), based on no cosigner. He also suggested that I could try and get a cosigner and reapply for the larger amount, but I am loathe to do this.

I could do multiple loaners. I wonder if banks have anyway of checking this.

Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Lil Orphan Annie on March 06, 2007, 04:29:38 PM
I applied for ~$150,000 (what I would probably need!) over the phone attempting to convince them of NYU's job placement and that was rejected. The man who phoned me suggested that I would be much more likely to get the $55,000 which, minus my student debt, would come to ~$30,000. This is, as far as I am aware (having not actually gotten the loan), based on no cosigner. He also suggested that I could try and get a cosigner and reapply for the larger amount, but I am loathe to do this.

I could do multiple loaners. I wonder if banks have anyway of checking this.



I believe a lot of banks ask you how much money you have in outstanding loans, so getting another loan beforehand would count (as long as you've signed the papers).  I'm not sure if they actually -check up- on it, but I suppose it would make your life easier if you told the truth.  That said, seeing an outstanding loan amount might make the banks hesitate to lend you any more money. This is why, in the process of having BMO um and ah over whether they should lend me that 60,000 I requested, I started applying to another loan, whose application form wanted me to state how much money I had in outstanding loans.  I figured if I applied at the same time to two different banks, technically I wouldn't be lying when I left the outstanding loan balance at 0.  Anyway, BMO relented and I retracted my other application, but if you don't have a cosigner, I'm pretty sure you will have to apply to multiple banks to get the loan you need.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 06, 2007, 10:00:25 PM
I like telling the truth. I ostensibly enjoy technicalities, but they can so quickly backfire. Really I would prefer that the banks realise that some law schools offer prospects, at least financially, similar to medical schools. Maybe NYU will have some good ideas ...
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 06, 2007, 10:48:13 PM
ouch:

Do you have some sort of magical credit history that would've played into the RBC offer?  $30K would be a huge boost to the applications process for me, and if I can get that without a cosigner and I don't need twenty years of amazing credit, I'm certainly very interested. 

Also, LOA, your parents were involved in your loan application, right?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 06, 2007, 10:53:12 PM
hey MotO (good acronym)!,

like I said, the man who rejected the big loan suggested that the smaller loan would be more likely - they have a professional student loan program that maxes at $55,000 for law students - but I decided not to apply right then because, frankly, it just ain't enough at the moment.

So, it was suggested that I would got it, but I have not yet gotten it, and I have been applying without any hope of parental support.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: nerfco on March 06, 2007, 10:57:29 PM
If you do contact NYU's financial office to see if they have any programs in place, please update the thread with their response. I'm not in at NYU, but hopefully someday I will be. :)

Neither of the schools I have asked (Chi, Va) have had any sort of financial aid for Canadians, aside from the normal merit scholarships. But perhaps the higher rated schools do? I'm unsure.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 06, 2007, 11:02:41 PM
This is extremely interesting.  You say the downgrade was the student loan option?  I think I may have to drop in at my local RBC branch and talk to someone.  

Sorry to hear about the lack of parental support.  Solidarity!   :D



Oh, also, there's a recently established loan company that provides non-cosigned loans to international students going to NYU, IIRC.  The program is called Global Student Loan Program.  Google them.  They were mentioned earlier in this thread.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 06, 2007, 11:23:20 PM
i emailed NYU a few days ago about the GSLP ... waiting on their reply.

my parents are as helpful as can be and would undoubtedly put up their home to help me. But, I am independent now, have been for a while, and don't really want to be concerned that some sort of accident befalling me would, as well as devestating them, put the 'rents in a awkward financial situation. Of course, I guess I could take out accident insurance. Maybe that would alleviate my fears.

Regardless, loans for school need to be based on the school to be attended - I should be able to get loans to cover my tuition.

I will post whatever I find, doing upon others as I would have them do upon me. Is that even in the bible?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: gillesthegreat on March 06, 2007, 11:43:20 PM
I can confirm that Banque Royale will not go beyond 55,000. I was quoted this as well, and it was explained to me that it's the number they have in their loan manual. That is, they are following the book and cannot deviate; the book says law <55,000.
I do recall asking about the Centura avenue and was told it didn't change the underlying fact. Nor would placement numbers. Their book says that the expected income at graduation is CA$60,000, and screw the facts.



Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 07, 2007, 01:04:21 AM
i emailed NYU a few days ago about the GSLP ... waiting on their reply.

my parents are as helpful as can be and would undoubtedly put up their home to help me. But, I am independent now, have been for a while, and don't really want to be concerned that some sort of accident befalling me would, as well as devestating them, put the 'rents in a awkward financial situation. Of course, I guess I could take out accident insurance. Maybe that would alleviate my fears.

Regardless, loans for school need to be based on the school to be attended - I should be able to get loans to cover my tuition.

I will post whatever I find, doing upon others as I would have them do upon me. Is that even in the bible?


I agree about the parents' situation.  Basically the same for me.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Lil Orphan Annie on March 07, 2007, 11:19:45 AM
Memories:

Yes, my parents were good about cosigning my loan, so I suppose I'm fortunate in that regard.  Helped me get a larger loan.

For those whose parents won't cosign: why is that, exactly? Do they not support you going into law school? Do they not want to take the risk that being in part of a loan agreement comes with?  I'm just a bit curious to why parental cosigning is out of the question.

Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 07, 2007, 11:40:04 AM
They can't?  I mean, that's fairly simple, isn't it?

hahaha

Many reasons.  Poor credit history.  Unable to afford it.  Lack of life savings (can't risk putting up the house as collateral).  Even expecting their kids to stand on their own two feet.  I think all these things are realistic and reasonable.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 07, 2007, 12:29:57 PM
With regards to the parents: it is my decision to not involve them, for similar reasons as MOTO, with the exception of them expecting me to stand on my own two feet. They would like it but i don't think they expect it.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: nerfco on March 07, 2007, 12:33:52 PM
I would/will definitely not ask my parents to use their house as collateral just so that I can attend law school in America. I don't doubt that they would, but I do not feel it is fair to them to ask.

I have a few dollars saved up though, so hopefully my debt load will not be too terribly high. So hopefully this won't come up.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: ouchitburns on March 11, 2007, 09:39:18 PM
well, my search for scholarships should have started months ago. Darn.

I may take a year off and reapply next year - this whole borrowing $180,000 seems to be more difficult than expected. That said, I am heading to NYU for a visit in a few weeks and will try and get more concrete answers there.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: thestradgirl on March 12, 2007, 03:26:15 PM
would it be possible to use multiple sources? you take a loan just in your name, your parents can co-sign on one with you, and then also do CanHelp?

So does anyone know whether is this a possible strategy?
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 12, 2007, 04:01:16 PM
Of course it is.  It's just a huge pain in the ass.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: thestradgirl on March 12, 2007, 04:55:27 PM
>:(

These schools had better hurry up. I need at least some name to negotiate my deal.

Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 12, 2007, 04:58:29 PM
I just got one last week, thank goodness. 

Which reminds me, I may have some interesting news for the people in this thread after a meeting on Wednesday.  Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: thestradgirl on March 12, 2007, 06:18:18 PM
:) ok! hope you bring us good news, J.

and


Congratulations.

::balloons, a wreath, applause + :-* s::

:)
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: nerfco on March 16, 2007, 11:39:46 AM
Any update?

You can get school loans through Michigan as a Canadian? Makes me wish that they liked me more.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Temporary Relief Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor on March 16, 2007, 10:30:34 PM
Any update?

You can get school loans through Michigan as a Canadian? Makes me wish that they liked me more.

Wow, you got yield protected hardcore.  Michigan is probably the worst in the T14 when it comes to rejecting over-qualified applicants.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on March 16, 2007, 11:37:47 PM
I just got one last week, thank goodness. 

Which reminds me, I may have some interesting news for the people in this thread after a meeting on Wednesday.  Stay tuned!


Any update?


No.  I'm still f-ing waiting as well.   >:(
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: thestradgirl on March 18, 2007, 09:24:34 PM
Goddamn it, J.

 >:(

:D :D :D

you aren't even Canadian!

>:(
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: thestradgirl on March 18, 2007, 09:28:25 PM
Goddamn it, J.

 >:(



:D :D :D

you aren't even Canadian!

>:(

Are you having the same problems?

Because then...goddamn it Canadia.

>:(

hehehe.

>:(

I don't think it'll be too bad for me, though. Would just like to know as much about my options as possible.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: radar1 on April 08, 2007, 12:28:52 PM
I was home this weekend for Easter (I'm a canuck living in the US right now), so I made the rounds to the banks to see what they will be able to offer.  My most sucessful was by far TD.  They offered me a $80,000 line of credit, at Prime +1% , not having to pay it back (except for the monthly interest) until a year after I graduate.  I think the interest is basically the same deal they offer most people, but I only think they offered me the full 80K because my Dad does A LOT of business with the guys at the branch I went to. Because I went to RBC right after (where I bank, but my parents and their businesses do not), and they basically laughed at me. They actually told me that they consider students attending foreign schools "high risk", so they charge prime + 3.5%, and if I get a co-signed they MIGHT consider $20,000

Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: gillesthegreat on April 25, 2007, 10:53:52 AM
I feel the need to share with you the ineptitude of HSBC. Since all Canadian banks will only lend you based on CA numbers, and all US banks are scared you'll leave the country and never pay them back, I figured a bank that is present in the two countries could do something. Right? No. For their performance, they get three thumbs down:

1st for the lady who couldn't speak proper English. Wow.

2nd for her lame suggestion: "you should really try talking to banks in the US". Bravo. Had never occurred to me, dimwit! You really think you're my first choice?

3rd to HSBC in general, for the puzzling policy of offering student loans only to MBA students at UBC. Not to med students, not to law students, only to MBA students. And not to U of T, York or HEC. No ... only UBC. WTF?

Thanks for nothing HSBC. "The world's local bank" my a$$.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on October 13, 2007, 10:10:46 PM
What do you need to know?  I'm studying in San Francisco right now.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on October 14, 2007, 12:01:21 AM
Canadian banks are virtually useless to you.  The best you'll get out of it is a Line of Credit, which doesn't help unless you have tons saved up -- under your visa, you're only allowed on-campus employment while at school, and it doesn't exactly pay well.

National student loans are very useful now that the Canadian dollar has strengthened so much.  Unfortunately, they max out at 48K lifetime (I think) and 13-something K a year (I think, again, but I know it's not much more than this).

So, realistically, you're going to need private loans.  Currently, unless you go to one of a very limited number of schools, your only viable option is the CanHelp student loans.  They're not exactly ideal.  The interest rates are fairly high, and they compound while they're in deferment, which is a f-ing pain in the ass, to say the least.  That said, they were prompt, and much more reliable than my Canadian student loans were.  Also, if your credit history is well-established and you have good to great credit, you may even be able to get one of these loans without a co-signer.  My credit is very average at the best of times, and I had to get my parents to co-sign.  I didn't like it, but it's reality for me.  However, with scholarships and government student loans, it looks like I'll be able to keep my total private loans to about 60K, which isn't too disastrous.

gilles may have more to add, but this is the best advice I can give you right now.  Feel free to ask more questions.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: gillesthegreat on October 16, 2007, 06:37:59 PM
Currently at Penn - they gave me some money  :)
The rest is from savings (significant amount) and a line of credit from BMO. This was a special deal, on account of my situation and parents' longstanding history with them. So I can't help much, except to say that I've tried BMO, Banque Royale, Banque Nationale, TD and Scotia. Nothing. And CanHelp really, really sucks. Let me make that clear. They suck. Do you get the essence of the message here, which is that they suck? The best options are a) parents, and b)financial help from the institution. Many of them will help you out. I'm actually receiving need-based, not merit-based. The good universities are usually aware now of the problems non-US students are facing, so talk to the fin aid people early.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on October 16, 2007, 07:39:29 PM
I should make clear that gilles and I have had very different experiences with CanHelp.

That said, like I pointed out, they're not ideal.  At all.
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: Astro on November 12, 2007, 02:46:45 AM
Just to follow up with a few more questions, if either of you (or other canucks in the U.S.) are around.

... b)financial help from the institution. Many of them will help you out. I'm actually receiving need-based, not merit-based. The good universities are usually aware now of the problems non-US students are facing, so talk to the fin aid people early.

Any idea which institutions are usually good about this? (I know you're at Penn, but wanted to put the Q out there in case you know of others' experiences at all...)  I'm by no means an auto-admit at the schools I've applied to (so won't likely get big merit scholarships).  I'm also not sure about need-based (if they consider my parents' income), so wondering what their criteria/process/means of helping were.  I've heard that the top schools will help you out with loans/grants, but wondering to what extent (and which schools).  My parents income might preclude anything need-based, but that's not to say they can, in reality, front $50K/yr for me to go to school in the U.S! (or that I would ask)

Quote from: TheJ
National student loans are very useful now that the Canadian dollar has strengthened so much.  Unfortunately, they max out at 48K lifetime (I think) and 13-something K a year

Will taking gov't student loans diminish your Line of Credit amount?  Again, I don't know if I'd qualify (depending on whether they consider me independently of my parents).  I am fortunately debt-free after undergrad (scholarships/summer work/some family support/relatively cheap Canadian tuition).  Going to make the bank rounds later in the year to see what they'll give me (after hearing from more schools and deciding if I'm even going to the U.S.), but wondering if gov't loans + LoC will = LoC w/no gov't loans, or whether we can get both.



Your government loans should make no difference to your LoC, and vice versa, and as long as you don't have a pre-existent LoC that you're still trying to pay off (which looks bad on your credit record when applying for a new LoC), you should be fine.

That said, the only bank I found that would let me take a useful amount out on a LoC without a parent's signature (but with a good to great credit record, which is often a difficult task for someone just out of university) was RBC. 
Title: Re: Canadian financial aid options
Post by: gillesthegreat on November 12, 2007, 10:55:51 AM
Quote
Any idea which institutions are usually good about this?

Can't say that I do. I know of only Penn and Harvard. A quick call/e-mail to the right person might give you that info.

As for need-based: I wouldn't discount the possibility. Schools are quite aware of their price tags, and they really want you to attend, presumably. There is of course the implied expectation that generosity will be reciprocated in kind, later on. But some may be more explicit than this and make you sign a promissory note. It's still a loan, but it's one you can actually get. Worth asking about as well.