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What Every Grad Should Know About Their Best Debt Options

Graduates often carry a heavy financial load; student loans, credit lines, credit cards, and other debts like mortgages or vehicle loans can quickly add up and become overwhelming. Steady and sufficient income is rare for most graduates, adding to the stress.

We take a look at the Four Things Every New Graduate Should Know About Debt in this podcast. Learn how to create your debt repayment plan, strategies for staying on track, and how to prioritize debt repayment among your other priorities. Our LITs also talk about what to do if you can’t make your debt repayments. Here are the specifics:

Know where to turn for student loan help

Canada Student Loans offers a six-month grace period. Graduates don’t need to begin regular loan payments until then, allowing you some time to come up with a plan based on your post-secondary situation.

The federal program offers repayment assistance plans. If you’re having difficulty managing your debt load, check out the assistance plan and speak to a financial professional about how you can keep your commitment to repay your loan in a more manageable way. If you’re struggling with your provincial student loan, the federal program loan page also has links that could be helpful.

Restructure your money management

Sometimes making ends meet requires you to look at your finances as a whole.

Here are some things you can consider, and helpful links:

  • Do you have a budget? Are you tracking your spending consistently? Check out Mint’s budgeting tools or Practical Money Skills’ resources on getting your finances in order.
  • How are you bringing in money? With today’s difficult job economy, many graduates are thinking–and working–outside the box. Have you considered moonlighting, or the gig economy? Brining in even a few extra hundred dollars a month could make a big difference in debt relief.

In addition, to help you get motivated by someone who was in similar shoes, Craig Sebastiano writes about his journey to pay back $26,000 in debt after graduation in The Money Blog. Find out how he managed to become debt free post graduation.

Know your other debt options

Knowing your debt options can put you back in control of your finances.

Meeting with a professional like a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, can help. You’ll leave knowing what your options are, and how debt consolidation, consumer proposal, or even bankruptcy can help you get your finances back on track.

Debt is scary for most people, but for graduates who may be facing uncertain employment situations and new living costs, it can also be very overwhelming. Learn about your options so you can make a plan that is right for you.

Do you know your debt options? Tell us on Twitter. #StudentDebt #Millennials

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