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Author Topic: Canadian financial aid options  (Read 14215 times)

gillesthegreat

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2007, 01:53:52 PM »
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$$.
Penn (2007)

Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2007, 01:10:46 AM »
What do you need to know?  I'm studying in San Francisco right now.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2007, 03:01:21 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.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

gillesthegreat

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2007, 09:37:59 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.
Penn (2007)

Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2007, 10:39:29 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.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

Astro

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #55 on: November 12, 2007, 05:46:45 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. 
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

gillesthegreat

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Re: Canadian financial aid options
« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2007, 01:55:51 PM »
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.
Penn (2007)