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Author Topic: Canadian financial aid options  (Read 14070 times)

cantmakeupmymind

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2007, 02:15:17 PM »
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?
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Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2007, 04:16:36 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).
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Lil Orphan Annie

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2007, 06:39:23 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.

MorningStar

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2007, 07:20:31 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.

Lil Orphan Annie

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2007, 07:48:53 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 :(

FunkyzeitmitBruno

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2007, 08:00:38 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)?

Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2007, 08:03:33 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.
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ouchitburns

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2007, 06:38:51 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.

Shady Lady

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2007, 10:17:52 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?
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Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2007, 11:22:05 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.
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