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Author Topic: Canadian financial aid options  (Read 14182 times)

FunkyzeitmitBruno

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Canadian financial aid options
« on: February 16, 2007, 07:38:23 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?

Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 08:53:25 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.
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FunkyzeitmitBruno

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 10:08:11 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.

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 10:10:14 AM »
baffbaffbaffbaffbaff
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MorningStar

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 02:24:43 PM »
3.  Don't Provincial student loans require that you attend a Canadian institution?

Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 03:35:16 PM »
3.  Don't Provincial student loans require that you attend a Canadian institution?


No.
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Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 03:41:25 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.
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ButImAGilmore

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2007, 12:58:31 PM »
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.
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radar1

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2007, 02:07:39 PM »
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).


 

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2007, 10:45:56 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.