Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Post-Secondary Students Urged to Seek Financial Advice before Applying for Loans

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Post-Secondary Students Urged to Seek Financial Advice before Applying for Loans

Article excerpt

Future students urged to seek financial advice

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TORONTO - Many post-secondary students are graduating with a heavy debtload along with their degree, but financial experts say that shouldn't scare people away from going to school.

They say there are ways for students to manage their money, whether they're already facing school debt or are preparing to go into debt by applying for student loans.

Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director at the not-for-profit organization Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., says the first problem and solution is that students need more financial education.

"Students need to develop good money budgeting skills and they need to become financially literate," says Schwartz. "Often that's troublesome because they haven't had any courses in financial management up until this point."

Consolidated Credit assists students and families with financial crisis and debt management problems through counselling and debt consolidation.

Before students even think about applying for student loans, Schwartz recommends students and families decide if going away for school is a good economical decision.

Swartz says many students want to study abroad for the experience, but they have to understand the savings that can be had by studying in their home town.

"If there's huge savings at home, that means likely you're not going to have the same level of debt that's hanging over your head after having graduated and heading into the workforce," he says.

Once students have chosen a university and decide they require financial assistance, Schwartz recommends comparison shopping for student loans just as someone would shop for the best cellphone plan.

"You really need to shop around and try to find the student loan for you," he says. "Assess all the different options that are available."

Schwartz says students should also keep in mind how much money they expect to earn once they enter the workforce in relation to the amount of debt they will have to pay back. …

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