With tuition and school fees at an all-time high, students are taking on more and more debt to pay off their education. But what is the best choice for a student, a student line of credit or a government backed school loan.
Many people have an idea that government loans help the average person more, I mean, why would the government have it out for anyone? However, for people who do a good job of managing expenses the right choice leans more towards a student line of credit. This is because of the lower interest rate (Prime + 1%: Currently 2.70% + 1% = 3.70%) versus the Federal Government loan which is Prime + 2.5% or 5.2% with the floating rate and Prime + 5% = 7.7% with fixed) The extra 1.5% – 4% adds up quite a bit especially when you take more than 2 or 3 years to pay it off.
The reason why skills in managing expenses is recommended for students looking at a student line of credit is because of the higher loan amount available to students (up to 15,000$ per year for undergraduate where Government student loan is closer to 5,000 to 10,000 per year). A higher loan amount can end up equaling lots of unnecessary costs throughout the degree program with someone who spends like an idiot. This is why the spending discipline is recommended. The only real downside with the line of credit is the exempt status of bursaries and the like.