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Debt Repayment: When Will You Be Free from Student Loans?

A lot of Canadians are dealing with their student debt well into their 30s — and some expect that student debt repayment will be a fact of life for years to come

A new BDO poll shows that two out of three Canadian grads under 40 who finished school with debt graduated with an average of just over $22,000 in student debt. The average debt at graduation in B.C. was even higher at an average of $25,482.

Six out of 10 of those Canadian grads are still paying off their student debt. The majority think they’ll be student debt free within 5 years, but 18 per cent expect to be paying back their loans for another 10 to 20 years.

How long will it take you to be student loan free?

A post-secondary education can give you a leg up in a competitive job market and enhance your career prospects. However, taking on too much student debt while in school can mean delaying other important milestones and goals once you’re out of school.

Grads in their 20s and 30s who took on student debt in university or college report that they’ve pushed back the idea of owning a home, getting married, or starting a family while they pay down their loans.

Our poll showed that B.C. grads were among those with the most student debt at graduation — the only region ranking higher was Atlantic Canada.

Use this student debt repayment calculator to see how long it will take to pay down your loans.

What are your options for speeding up your debt repayment?

Even if you’re working with a heavy debt load, these strategies can help you accelerate your debt payback.

  • Work at a part-time job or paid internship while you’re in school to offset living costs and lighten your debt load.
  • Borrow only what you need when in school (tuition, books).
  • Speak to a debt professional about how to find debt relief.
  • Look into the Repayment Assistance Plan as an option for reducing your debt load.
  • Learn to live within a budget. Use this minimalist budget to start.
  • Take on extra work. Add a few streams of income to help you boost your debt repayment efforts.

Even if you’re doing all (or most) of the above, every debt repayment strategy needs an emotional boost. Read about Krystal Yee’s journey to student debt freedom on her website Give Me Back My Five Bucks.

Are you paying down your student debt? What tips do you have for others who are in the same boat? #DebtSolutions #StudentDebt #StudentLoanDebt

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