Student debt forgiven by Canadian banks has helped students in the Calgary-based city repay more than $5 million in student loans over the past two years, a financial adviser says.
The adviser, the Toronto-based Student Debt Clearinghouse, said Friday it has found a small number of people who have taken advantage of the forgiveness program to repay some or all of their student loans.
“We know that in the past we have found students who have repaid student loans at a much lower interest rate than they would have paid on the same debt at a normal time,” said John DeCicco, the chief financial officer of the company.
“They’ve paid off the debt with less interest, so it’s a win-win situation.”
DeCiccos said the company was working with more than 1,000 students who took advantage of a student loan forgiveness program through its website.
“It’s been a huge relief for some of them to be able to go from a student debt burden to having more money in their pocket,” he said.
DeCocco said the money had been used to pay off student loans for those who have been unable to pay the debts on time.
“So, it’s really a great relief for them, and also for the students who are not having enough income in the meantime to pay those debt,” he explained.
The company, which has offices in Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa, has been working with students and their families for the past several years, DeCoccos said.
“In addition to paying back the debt, we’ve been able to help them in other ways that they could have benefited from.”
DePcicos said Student Debt Solutions is now offering financial help to borrowers, which includes paying off debt and debt-free deferral.
DePricos said the forgiveness is a relatively low cost for students and there are no minimums.
“I think it’s an extremely reasonable and affordable option for many students,” he noted.
De Ciccos told the Calgary Eyeopener the students were using the program to help cover the cost of living, utilities and tuition fees, and that it also provides relief for other debt that they have accumulated.
“For some students, it may have saved them money because they were in a financial situation where they could not pay it off,” he added.
Student Debt Solutions declined to answer further questions about the company’s work with students.
De Pcicos stressed that the company is not a lender and it does not recommend people use the program.
He said the companies mission is to help students who struggle financially, but added it is not the only option students have at this point.
“That’s a really important message to send,” he told The Calgary Eye Opener.
De Citco said he was aware of the student debt forgiveness program and would be looking for additional students to use the service.