College holds student loan information sessions
BY KANE VAN EE
Algonquin College will be holding two back-to-back information seminars regarding OSAP student loans, despite abysmal attendance in the past years. It will be held in room T102 on March 20 from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m.
The seminar takes place at Algonquin College every year. However, the amount of students who turn up peaked at 15 students five years ago. Only five students attended last year, one being an Algonquin Times reporter.
The Financial Aid department stresses that students about to graduate should especially be in attendance to learn more about their student loans and how to pay them back without causing any trauma.
“It’s really a shame because students really need to know what their obligations are,” said Debra Leblanc, the Financial Aid Front Office Supervisor.
The presentation will cover full repayment of loans, when payments are due, interest, and repayment assistance plans. Marc Guindon, a representative of the National Student Loans Service Center (NSLSC), will be giving a 40-minute presentation of information related to OSAP loans, focusing on repayment for those who are about to graduate. The presentation will be followed by a Q & A session for students to ask their own personal questions.
About 18,000 students currently go to Algonquin and 50 per cent use loans to pay their way through post-secondary, which means roughly 9000 students can relate to the information presented at the seminar.
The seminar is held in March as part of Guindon’s cross Ontario college tour on behalf of the NSLSC educating students on how not to find themselves in a default situation. With students approaching the end of their studies the seminar provides information moderately fresh in the minds of those who are graduating. These students will have to begin repaying their loans in about six months.
The seminar also provides the chance to ask some of the questions related to your student loans during the Q & A portion. A few common questions asked in the past have been: What are my interest payments? What happens if I don’t have a job? When it’s time to repay? What happens if I don’t pay?
If you have trouble paying a student loan it can complicate your plans adversely, especially if you look forward to mortgaging a home or financing a vehicle. If your OSAP payments are not up-to-date your other loan requests can be rejected.
Colleges can also be negatively impacted by students defaulting on their loans because they are reviewed every year upon the rate in which students default. These reviews can negatively impact how much the college receives in subsidies if too many students are showing that they cannot repay loans after graduation.
For students who have received their loan from a private institution or bank, the seminar will not be relevant to you, as it only relates to OSAP. However, if you do have any questions regarding your private loans it is recommended you speak with your financial institution.