Three-quarters regret debt

Student debt is holding back the growth of British Columbia graduates.

A study by BDO Canada shows nearly half of B.C. residents with a post-secondary education are delaying buying a home due to their student debt. 

Three-quarters of those under 40 regret taking on student debt at all, and many wish they’d lived more frugally.

The poll showed that 44 per cent of British Columbians delay home ownership, 22 per cent choose to live with parents to reduce costs, 17 per cent delay marriage and 21 per cent delay having children. 

BDO senior VP Donna Mihalcheon says it's important to set up a financial plan that can help cut down student debt while meeting financial goals.

Debt management options include:

1. Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) – "RAP could be a viable option to reduce monthly student loan payments. You may qualify for it if you live in Canada; at least six months have passed since you graduated or left/finished school; and your loans are up to date."

2. Revision of Terms Plan – "Under a Revision of Terms Plan, you can extend the amount of time it takes to pay off your student loan’s principle and interest by up to 15 years. This option would make your monthly payments smaller, but you will pay more interest in the end because it will take you longer to repay your loan."

3. Filing a Consumer Proposal – "If you have been out of school for seven years or longer and feel that you need more help paying off your loans, consider learning more about how a consumer proposal can help. A proposal will combine your monthly unsecured debt payments with a repayment plan tailored to your financial needs into one monthly payment and give you a timeline to pay off all your debts."

4. Filing for Bankruptcy – "Similar to a consumer proposal, you must be out of school for seven years or longer to be able to discharge your student loans through a bankruptcy. Depending on your circumstance, this could be a viable option to eliminate student debt." 

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