Graduate Debt Rising: Families Struggling to Pay Off Loans in Kitchener

Graduate debt is rising. As a result, young adults are starting the next phase of life at an older age. Loan options in Kitchener-Waterloo, home to two universities, extend far beyond OSAP. Access to money isn't the problem though; it's how to pay it back.

September 22nd, 2014 /PressCable/

Kitchener, ON – University students are back in class and its not just homework that has started to pile on. Today, the price tag for a degree is high. Accounting for books, living expenses and transportation costs on top of tuition bring the cost of a full 4-year university education to approximately $80,000. Almost half of that number is allocated to living expenses.

According to the Canadian Federation of Students, a graduate will take on an average of $25,000 in debt as they move into the next phase of their lives. As a result of this debt obligation, marriage, kids and any other financial commitments like a mortgage are delayed.

“The point is that young adults are struggling to make ends meet as a result of student loan repayments. It's ridiculous!” said Anita Warren, a 27-year old university graduate living in Kitchener-Waterloo. “Twice I've had to use one of those KW payday loan websites because I couldn't pay everything I needed to pay with my one paycheck.” Warren is getting treated for depression and hasn't been able to get a life established outside of paying rent and working two jobs.

This isn't abnormal. To pay off debt as fast as possible, new graduates are choosing a modest life and working multiple jobs. This leaves little time for their personal lives. Even with all this effort, over 44,000 students defaulted on their debt in 2013, causing the federal government to write off over $200 million dollars.

Students are not the only ones affected by these financial obligations though. The debt acquired by parents paying for their child's schooling can directly affect their ability to retire. “I didn't have my school paid for and I knew how much it affected me. I wanted to do this for my daughter,” said Jane Carter. “I don't regret it, but I know I'll be working for a few more years before retiring. I've had to pull out a loan, I'm living paycheck to paycheck while she's in school.”

Kitchener-Waterloo houses two big universities and students can be seen all over the streets for 8 months of the year. The loan options in Kitchener-Waterloo include banks, OSAP and riskier options like Payday loan websites and vendors offering access to fast cash.

Those in need of this this type of loan can go to for money until the next paycheck.

“We need an education in this day and age,” said Warren. “I get that, but what I would urge more teenagers to start doing is think about their education as a strategic financial investment, if you're going to go to school put everything into it. For parents, start saving when they're really young.” She stressed the importance of working during school, saving money before entering university and lining up a future career that can pay it off faster. “Student debt is a problem, ultimately we need help from the government to control tuition and living expenses.”

Contact Info:
Name: Paul VanderHaum
Organization: Kitchener Waterloo Payday Loans

Release ID: 63829