Jeannine Mitchell's blog

Harassed Over Student Loans? This Man Sued - and Won!


If you know anyone dealing with defaulted student loans, show them this story.

In this BC small claims case, one 'little guy' fought back against his abusive credit collectors -- and he won more than he had owed on his student loans. The grounds for his lawsuit was harassment leading to mental distress.

 While not news (the case was 2001) the judgement on Stephen Tobin versus Total Credit Recovery (BC) Limited should still remind people not to take abuse over their debt problems. But first, a quick explanation:

It Worked! Many Permanently Disabled Students Did Win Loan Forgiveness


Followers of this website may remember our 'Countdown Campaign' in July, 2009.

Key government student loan aid programs were quietly being cancelled. We tried to alert as many as we could reach -- so they could apply for help while there was still time.

Application forms, rules, fax numbers and advice were supplied on this site for each program about to be cancelled, so that people could apply with short notice.

Why Beat Up on the Students?


I've heard Canadians trashing students for 10 years now. It never changes. But it also never ceases to amaze me.

Why so much foaming at the mouth when a student says it's tough to handle student debt these days?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, just look at the comments that follow any online article or blog about the financial plight of students.

If the article is about a student who struggled - but failed - to find a job this summer, you'll see comments like 'Get a job, bum!" Which kind of misses the point now, doesn't it?

New Student Loan Calculators - Here's How to Use Them

Debt 101's calculator team has now added two new custom calculators to the In Payment Calculator section. Thanks for your great work, team!!
Our new calculators will help you manage your student loans and save money too. Check them out below..

BC Student Loan Aid Not Quite as Advertised

It was a case of 'the hand being quicker than the eye'.
Yes, even while their BC award, bursary and loan repayment aid programs were still posted on government websites, some students and grads who applied this year were shocked to receive letters stating that their program was gone.
There seemed no hint that student aid cuts were coming.

The Departed: List of the Cancelled BC Student Aid Programs


In recent blogettes, I've made several references to the BC student aid programs cut so quietly this summer.  Perhaps it's time I made a list of what was cut.

And it really is a list. Almost overnight, more BC student loan aid programs were taken away than now remain.

Here's a record of 'the departed':


Premier's Excellence Award

Permanent Disability Benefits Program (after July 31)

Newfoundland Ends Interest on Student Loans!


As of August 1, 2009, Newfoundland and Labrador will strengthen its student-friendly reputation by removing interest charges from provincial student loans.

Media reports on the story seemed to overlook this point: Before the government made this change, the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians Against Student Debt (NLASD) had run an online campaign to end interest charges, which included a petition.

Catch-22s - and Solutions - When You Try to Cut Debt at School


Most of the media advice about keeping your student debt low just repeats the same old cliches. Media "guest experts" who string these cliches together must assume that everything is the same today as it was back when they were still in school.

Here's the biggest cliche out there: "Save money: Work your way through school by only taking classes part-time."

Obama Knows It: Community Colleges Rule


Here's a good-news story from the US reminds us how easily we could cut student debt in Canada.

Yesterday, in announcing his American Graduation Initiative yesterday, President Obama laid out  plans for a $12-billion investment in community colleges.

Yes, it's spread over the next 10 years, but this focus on upgrading the overworked, under-nourished US community college sector is unprecedented.

Talk About Disorganized: BC Student Aid Cuts

Talk about disorganized.
Yes, the word "sneaky" has been used by one commentator. But as "sneaky" goes, this still seems disorganized. 
Let's start at the beginning.
As Debt 101 users heard earlier, 6 BC student aid programs got cut very quietly this summer.