Access to Information: Over 18,000 student loan borrowers forced into default after being denied Interest Relief

    VANCOUVER, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - The Coalition for Student Loan Fairness has
obtained documents under the Access to Information Act (ATI) which show that
between 2001 and 2006, 18,138 people were declined Interest Relief and
subsequently ended up in collections. According to the documents, an average
of 22% of all borrowers who were declined for Interest Relief fell behind on
their payments and defaulted.

    Coalition spokesperson, Julian Benedict says the evidence indicates that
the Interest Relief program is not working.

    "The income thresholds for IR are not adjusted annually for inflation,
nor do they take into account the higher costs of living in urban versus rural
areas," said Benedict. This means that a borrower paying twice the rent in an
urban area is subject to the same income eligibility requirements as someone
living in a small town.

    He added, "The program continues to base its eligibility criteria on a
borrower's gross rather than net income, even though borrowers pay their loans
with after-tax dollars."

    The Coalition is dedicated to the needs of Canada's 990,000 student loan

For further information:

For further information: Julian Benedict, CSLF spokesperson, (604)

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