A lot of us get a student loan, but don’t necessarily understand it. We’re listing 5 tips to get to know your loan on a first-name basis.
- There are obviously TONS of resources online, but sometimes we just need that face-to-face interaction with someone who can REALLY break it down for us. Head into your financial services office on campus, and ask to speak with someone or ask to make an appointment! If your campus has resources to help, use them! You’re going to want to ask about your repayment terms, what happens if you can’t/don’t make a payment, and the best way to pay off your student dept asap.
- Look over your student loan fine-print. You’re going to want to know exactly when you have to pay your loan back, what your grace period is, and when interest starts to build (typically interest starts 6 months after graduation, but that may be different across the provinces!). This is SO important to find out – you don’t want to be bogged down with surprise interest charges!
- Keep your financial institution in the know! Things like changes of addresses or payment information are things you’re going to want to keep up to date with your loan provider.
- Be smart with your money! It’s SO hard at the start of each year not to go a little shop crazy when you get a large sum of money; but the most important thing you can do for yourself is to be smart from the get go! Establishing a budget before you get your loan will help you stay on track. You’re also going to want to bank with a bank that doesn’t charge you unwanted fees – look into a BMO Everyday Banking account. With 30 transactions per month, a free SPC Card, and 2 free Interac e-Transfers per month, you can’t go wrong! Looking to apply for a credit card? The BMO SPC MasterCard could be your best bet! Your SPC discounts are built right in, plus there’s no annual fee. It’s getting easier and easier to be smart with your money! You’ll find more info here.
- Look at your student loan’s repayment plans; there’s most likely more than one, and you’re going to want to choose something that matches your income, expenses and lifestyle!