Student Loan Regret

A new survey for BDO Canada Ltd. shows that and over-whelming number of Canadian students under 40 regret their student loans.  The study, shows:

Three in four (77%) Canadian graduates under 40 who had student debt after graduation have at least some regrets about their decision to take out student debt, mostly centered on the fact they could have saved or earned more and spent less.

The poll, which surveyed Canadians aged 21-39 with a completed college diploma or university degree finds that the most common regrets include wishing they’d lived more frugally or had a budget while in school (30%), worked more hours at a side job during school (28%), or avoided adding to other debts (like credit card debts or vehicle loans) while at college or university (25%).

The study offers some advice from grads to perspective students, including making more financial sacrifices during school and getting part-time job to lower the amount borrowed.  Two in 3 students reported having debt upon graduation – the average $22,084.00.

Many reported they thought they would be able to pay off their student debts within a year. In reality, those who did pay off their student debts took more than 3 years to do so.  However, a majority of students with outstanding debt (68%) have turned to some form of assistance or relief to pay down their debt:

Taking a job outside their chosen field of study is the most common means of dealing with student debts (24%), followed by Repayment Assistance Plans (RAPs) from the federal government (20%), or pursuing additional employment alongside their full-time job 19%). Graduates with debts still outstanding have also sought out financial assistance from parents or grandparents (17%) or a spouse or partner (13%), while smaller numbers have consolidated their private loans with a bank or lender (8%), filed a consumer proposal (3%) or even filed for bankruptcy (3%).

You can read more about the study here.