The Search for a Student Loan

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So you are thinking of going back to school? There are many sources of student financing. CanLearn is Canada’s government sponsored student loan program. It is designed to help prospective students plan out the financing methods of their post-secondary education. CanLearn can be used to plan, find, and pay your student loans or credit lines. They have broken the system down to three steps: Save, Plan and Pay.

The Saving part is the pre-planning. Here you should ask yourself: “How am I going to pay for college?” Normally this question should be addressed as early as possible, and well before you are filling out applications! Your first job should be trying to save money to help develop yourself into the skilled employee that you would like to be. The easiest way to save money is to cut your current costs. Figure out how much you can put away if you reduce needless costs. Is this number going to be enough for your education? If it is possible, try to get your parents involved; show what you can do on your own and what you need help with. Once you have figured out how much money you can put away, consider Canada’s options for investments in education: the Canadian Education Savings Grant, Registered Education Savings Plans or the Canada Learning Bond!

The Planning part is much more fun than the saving part, but still very important. Here you need to ask yourself: “What do I want to do for a living?” Take career interest tests, and experiment with new jobs or even internships. Once you have decided what your best career options appear to be, filter through the schools that offer your programs and layout all of your options. Are there some schools you would prefer? Do you meet their entrance requirements?

The Paying part can really affect the rest of your life. Now that you have saved as much as you can, your payment options are student loans, grants, and scholarships. Dig deep and apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can. Performance based scholarships have been found to not only help you pay for school, but help to maintain your focus and get better grades! If you are lucky, you have found a place of business that you would like to work after to graduate, make sure to ask them if they are interested in paying for your education! You may be surprised at the results.

The less you have to pay back when you are done, the more flexible you can be in finding the perfect job for you, so be careful and be smart! Financing your post-secondary education can be the best loan of your life.

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