There have been times when I had to choose between paying my credit card or buying healthy groceries for the month because all of my funds go to my OSAP loan, supporting my family, paying for my fixed expenses like rent.
I'm now in my 30s, and I am still paying my OSAP loan, which between 30-50K (despite the fact that I've been paying it off for over 3-4 years). I came to Toronto from Windsor after highschool, and had to take full OSAP funding because my family was unable to support me and Toronto is an expensive city to be living as a student.
I have a full-time well-paid position working within the community legal aid clinics. I have a Master's in political science and a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations. I am hard working and passionate about my work, helping to empower those living in Ontario/Canada to deal with their daily struggles. Yet, I continue to struggle on a personal level to pay down my loan while paying for the high cost of rent in the city of Toronto, high transportation costs (I take public transit), and struggle to strike a work-life balance because it's costly to go to the gym or pay for yoga classes to decompress or to continue my hobbies of playing in sport leagues.
I also try to financially support my single mother who is unemployed and a senior. That also creates a struggle for me to have enough money to pay down my loans faster.
I've never defaulted on any of my OSAP payments, but there have been times when I had to choose between paying my credit card or buying healthy groceries for the month because all of my funds go to my OSAP loan, supporting my family, paying for my fixed expenses like rent. It further erodes my ability to plan effectively for my future, where I'm unable to save enough money per month to have financial security in case I lose my job, or an unexpected expense occurs. Let alone having enough savings for a down payment on a home.