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Student loans made easy

by Archives February 28, 2001
On March 1, student loans from the federal government will change forever. They will come with an added bonus— support services from Edulinx and BDP Business Data Services Ltd.— and will no longer be managed by the Canadian banks.
What this means is that students who are graced with loans will have readily available access to the supportive services of two companies which specialize in student loan management and will be offered a more supportive infrastructure to ease them through the delicate process of receiving and repaying a loan.
While Edulinx’s business is focused entirely on student loans, BDP manages outsource portfolios of all types including health and dental insurance programs and data and document management.
Both Edulinx and BDP have been awarded two year contracts. Edulinx will be receiving $91.6 million to act as the service provider for borrowers attending public educational institutions. While BDP will be receiving $45.7 million to act as the service provider for borrowers attending private institutions.
Statistics show that students attending a private institution have a higher default rate on their student loans than those attending public institutions and this is a very reasonable explanation for why funding that is put towards public and private educations should be handled differently. There are differing stresses and problematic areas for each process.
Both companies are to serve as a go-between for students, the federal government and schools.
What’s impressive about the two, particularly of Edulinx, are their web sites. They offer visitors fairly simple frameworks packed with easy to click-and-find information. BDP’s web address is www.bdp.ca and Edulinx’s web address is www.edulinx.ca.
A visit to the Edulinx site offers the viewer a manageable selection of options and access to some of the key information students will want to know about before, during and after going through a federal-government loan process. It has a section which fully explains who can apply for loans, how, when and where and is pocked with snappy images and easy-to-scan heading.
In other words a great number of general queries student’s may have are easy find out about by spending not much more than a minute or two surfing around for the answers. Furthermore, the Edulinx site offer students a news page with link to news stories about many key educational reforms as they occur across the provinces.
The site also offers its visitors the possibility of submitting any special queries by e-mail as well as listing phone numbers, addresses and locals were more in-depth help can be sought out for viewers who prefer a little more human contact. On top of this the site has links to all the provincial bursary program sites and loads of information about how to find out about other incentive programs, scholarships and bursaries.
The key advantage to Edulinx, in particular, is that aside from its web focus which will save countless numbers of students time and simple confusion, it offers two specialized programs. One of these is a loan-disbursement program which aims to help student plan how they spend their loans and the other is a debt-management program aimed a facilitating the process students undertake to repay what they have borrowed.
The money for federal loans is still sourced through The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) but Edulinx and BDP will now provide the bureaucratic support for its operation. The CLSP is the largest program of financial assistance for students in Canada. Since 1964 it has dolled out $15 billion to over 2.7 million students and the program currently subsidizes loans for about 350 000 students per year.

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