Recently, I ran into my young cousin, who just started her final year of high school. As we spoke about the excitement of the home stretch of high school, my cousin and I began talking about university and the financial difficulties that she may face to pay for her future education. Coming from a family who does not qualify for provincial student loans but requires assistance has put my cousin in a tough position.
Luckily, one of the wonderful things that have come out of my credit union research is the fact that they are able to help students and offer strong education lending programs to make your degree a reality.
When it comes to student loans, credit unions have been a best-kept secret. Until recently, I did not even know they provided loans for education! Aside from the Canada Student Loan Programs and traditional bank loans, credit unions offer personal loans to students with what appears to be a lot less red tape or limitations. Credit unions appear to evaluate each prospective post-secondary student as a unique, individual case. This allows for more possibilities when it comes to obtaining a student loan. It also provides students with specialized individualized attention, where each situation is examined, evaluated and awarded in a unique way.
In assisting each prospective student with their own distinct case, credit unions treat each case on an individual basis and focus on providing flexibility when it comes to education funding for students. They are also able to provide their student members in-depth financial guidance, which helps in easing the mind as they enter this next stage of education, as well as setting up a long-term plan to pay off the student line of credit as fast as possible.
On top of the student loans offered through a credit union, I am so impressed with the additional services they offer to their members that are entering their post-secondary years. They have wonderful options when it comes to traditional banking services – such as bank accounts, and offer great student credit cards. Plus, if you happen to be attending school away from home, there are so many ways you can continue to access your accounts through mobile or other credit union, surcharge-free ATMs.
It may have been seven years since I was in university, but it is great to know that as the years pass, more options are popping up for students seeking financial assistance in order to obtain a higher education. This is why I have passed on this knowledge to my cousin, hoping it will provide her with more options as she weighs her financial possibilities this year, leading into university next year.
Are you, your child, or family member heading off to university or college next year? Are you seeking financial assistance for post-secondary education? You can visit cooperativebanking.ca to find your closest credit union. For those who live outside of Ontario, find your closest credit union at locator.cucentral.com