Updated: Dec 5, 2021
American and Student Loan side Effect
For most of us, we came from families who have no means of paying for our higher education. We might be the smartest kids but are most often first-generation Canadians, children of immigrants or come from low to middle-income families. Education trust funds aren’t something we have prepared for us. Fortunately, free ride scholarships are available to A+ students coming out of high school. For those who score 89 to 80, you get a few grants here and there but OSAP seems to be the easiest accessible resource to fund your education. You get 30+ long agreement plans. For most of us, this is by far the most important adult decision you will ever make towards your future. Only after walking with your graduation gown all happy, it feels over financially. Six months after that, you receive a letter from National Student Loan Service Centre requesting their money back with interest.
Notice of Repayment letter:
You might be looking for a job or starting a new career with $25k to $40k of debt. Depending on the undergraduate or post-graduate program completed, student loans can be anywhere from $60k to $120K. Paying back loans can take at least 5 to 15 years. So let's discuss some of the downfalls of student loan debt from personal experience.
I was too broke, too stressed out, paying money back that I didn’t have. Two years after finishing university, I ignored my student debt because I was thinking about securing a career and trying to figure out my next move as an entrepreneur with a 9 to 5 schedule.
Unfortunately, some people complete a program and aren't as passionate about working in that field anymore. Some redefine a future career pathway and end up going back to do a Master's, acquiring more loans.
Few of us work part-time to fund our new college or university program because we refuse to get additional loans and fall further into a rabbit hole of debt.
Some of us aren't so lucky with financial reporting and balancing bills and life. We opt into repayment assistance plans until we figure our next move.
Intervention - Let’s pay it back
After the moment of truth, we reach the stage where paying back is our only way out. We start looking at our financial habits, expenses, income and even consider taking a second job or doing a side hustle. For me, that was after 2 years of mapping out a payment plan strategy, getting the second diploma in Digital Marketing, and three certificates as a Yoga Instructor, Sports Nutritionist, and Social Media Marketer. I was determined to expand my CV to help earn more income so that I can start paying off the student loan. I refused to take any more loans and made sure any additional education or classes I enrolled were paid from pocket or got a scholarship.
In this stage, we are finally tired of running from and ignoring the big elephant in the room. We might start writing a game plan, working on vision boards or probably watched Dave Ramsey YouTube videos for hours. Now all we want is freedom to breathe and get rid of debt by any means necessary.
In this stage, we also want our freedom and peace of mind. That's where most of us start to take it very seriously. We want to own homes, cars, travel and live our best life. The only way to get there is to get out of our debt, particularly student debt, so we can utilize our money in our lifestyle. Thankfully, I don't have any other debt besides student loans and I wish to keep it that way until I pay it off.
Lesson Learned - Building trust funds
What I learned from being in debt due to student loans is understanding money language.
I will definitely have education trust funds for my children later, get into real estate investment and stocks to have financial security.
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