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Lines of Credit for Medical Students (Scotia is the best option)


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So I have visited a few banks about LOC now. It seems that RBC and Scotia are the front runners. I am having a hard time seeing why people choose RBC over Scotia, unless I'm missing something. RBC boasts that after residency you can switch to a loan or regular loan at prime. Scotia allows you to keep your LOC but you have to pay it off in 10 years. It seems that Scotia is better because you have the guaranteed interest rate, whereas with RBC there is no guarantee what you'll be paying after you switch. If anyone has any insight on this, that would be great. Also, if anyone has found any more differences between RBC and Scotia, I am curious to hear them. Thanks!

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Honestly,    Thank you to pm101 for helping the mandem out. You all are so great. This sharing of information takes the power away from the banks and puts back in our hands. They were trying to play

I contacted RBC and scotiabank recently and this is a comparison: 1. Credit cards annual fee: both top of the line cards, mostly similar/comparable perks with Scotia having slight upper hand. Dif

My friends and I did some research on the available LOC options and put them together into a summary: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EFo_7w6pUV9Xa1kW7PTH-JrczFCiPmhTEBlrrdJaENw/edit?usp=

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So I have visited a few banks about LOC now. It seems that RBC and Scotia are the front runners. I am having a hard time seeing why people choose RBC over Scotia, unless I'm missing something. RBC boasts that after residency you can switch to a loan or regular loan at prime. Scotia allows you to keep your LOC but you have to pay it off in 10 years. It seems that Scotia is better because you have the guaranteed interest rate, whereas with RBC there is no guarantee what you'll be paying after you switch. If anyone has any insight on this, that would be great. Also, if anyone has found any more differences between RBC and Scotia, I am curious to hear them. Thanks!

 

I agree! If someone has done a comparison or has any additional useful information to make a decision, it would be quite useful!

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I agree! If someone has done a comparison or has any additional useful information to make a decision, it would be quite useful!

 

pretty good summary - they are quite close as it was pointed out. Which is why people endlessly are comparing the small things about them :)

 

two minor points - as always you can switch between banks if something did change. that keeps them in check as it were. Also there are intangibles that people don't mention. For instance at some places the bank will come to the school to do business and otherwise are just more available, or some people go with the bank that supports the school the most as all other things are nearly the same.

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So I have visited a few banks about LOC now. It seems that RBC and Scotia are the front runners. I am having a hard time seeing why people choose RBC over Scotia, unless I'm missing something. RBC boasts that after residency you can switch to a loan or regular loan at prime. Scotia allows you to keep your LOC but you have to pay it off in 10 years. It seems that Scotia is better because you have the guaranteed interest rate, whereas with RBC there is no guarantee what you'll be paying after you switch. If anyone has any insight on this, that would be great. Also, if anyone has found any more differences between RBC and Scotia, I am curious to hear them. Thanks!

 

When I signed up RBC told me I get to keep the LOC at prime. I don't have the paper work in front of me, but I may be able to dig it up. Or I probably should before end of residency...

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It seems that Scotia is better because you have the guaranteed interest rate, whereas with RBC there is no guarantee what you'll be paying after you switch.

 

Just a note about Scotiabank's so-called "guaranteed at prime" interest rate after residency: it is not actually guaranteed. The Scotia advisors will all tell you that it won't go above prime after residency, but when it comes time to sign the paperwork, the fine print says that they reserve the right to change it to prime + something.

 

That being said, it's unlikely that they will, and if they do, you can transfer the LOC to another bank at any time. And as rmorelan said, competition should keep them in check. Unless they collude to all increase the rate, that is ;)

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Just a note about Scotiabank's so-called "guaranteed at prime" interest rate after residency: it is not actually guaranteed. The Scotia advisors will all tell you that it won't go above prime after residency, but when it comes time to sign the paperwork, the fine print says that they reserve the right to change it to prime + something.

 

That being said, it's unlikely that they will, and if they do, you can transfer the LOC to another bank at any time. And as rmorelan said, competition should keep them in check. Unless they collude to all increase the rate, that is ;)

 

and just remember where that competition is coming from -

 

They aren't interested in the prime interest rate on the loan - not a lot of money in that really after expenses and inflation are considered. . Being your bank during your actual practice with all those banking fees, your long term investment advisers, your long term nice, stable and juice mortgages and on and on....that is another matter. We are talking about thousands upon thousands. So pissing you off is stupid, very stupid.

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RBC is the same in the fine print.

 

They actually did end up fixing my line of credit and my chequing account, for the sake of follow up. They had to close it and open a new one, but they did get it fixed. Apparently the person who originally opened it really screwed it up, because it wasn't even coded properly as a medical student line of credit, and I was paying fees on my banking that I shouldn't have been paying.

 

I thought that because I was speaking to an account manager at the main RBC branch, they'd know what they were doing. Moral of the story is, always find the medical and dental specialist.

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RBC is the same in the fine print.

 

They actually did end up fixing my line of credit and my chequing account, for the sake of follow up. They had to close it and open a new one, but they did get it fixed. Apparently the person who originally opened it really screwed it up, because it wasn't even coded properly as a medical student line of credit, and I was paying fees on my banking that I shouldn't have been paying.

 

I thought that because I was speaking to an account manager at the main RBC branch, they'd know what they were doing. Moral of the story is, always find the medical and dental specialist.

 

always :) just a small area of expertise few really know it well.

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I posted this in the ubc forum:

 

 

I live in a smaller city. Would it be best for me to go to a larger centre to ask about LOCs, or can I do it just as easily where I live? I'm trying to decide if I should take an extra day in Vancouver when I pass through there in a few weeks.

__________________

I guess I should take a day there and try to make appointments, huh?

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You definitely need to deal with a specialist at the bank who deals with LOCs for medical students! Otherwise you will be wasting your time and receive e erroneous information.

 

Why not first make contact with a specialist at a couple of banks of your choice, e.g., RBC & Scotia,discuss the details, set something up for one of the banks and ONLY then bring the documents required to Vanc. Deal by phone and email at this stage. A decent banker who has no experience with these matters will be totally clueless.

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Yep, there should be information online about who the rep is for each school that deals with med student LOCs (for example, Scotia's list for Canada can be found here). Only deal with a rep who specifically does professional (medical) LOCs - a lot of people have had big issues because they tried to do it at a smaller branch and it got screwed up. Get in touch with the rep before you're in Vancouver - you should be able to do the application, etc by e-mail or fax. Then all I needed to do was make an in-person appointment to sign the loan documents to activate my LOC, which you could theoretically do when you're in Vancouver in a few weeks.

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the third possibility if you are unable to go the bank in question is to call the major branch and do it over the phone. They will send the required documents to your local branch and you sign things there. You still have to deal with the expert and you should deal with them but this doesn't necessarily need to be done in person.

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As a rule (you can try to negotiate better)... RBC infinite avion is free for a year, while Scotia Passport is free as long as you're part of the professional program.

 

Also the 15k pt = 350 is the optimal return only for specific short haul flights, so you're most likely to get less, and way less if you're not looking at flights.

 

That said, I'm not a huge fan of the passport either... it has great travel insurance associated with it, but poor rewards earning. Best bang for your buck is to get the Scotia Gold Amex and have a complimentary Visa/MC for places that don't accept amex.

 

I was able to get the card for 2 years free, and after that discounted at $59 a year because of the professional program. It came with 15k ($150) points, and a bonus $300 travel credit if I spent $100 on travel. Was able to take $450 off a small vacation I was taking just for signing up.

 

Other great features about the Amex Gold is that you get 4 x pts on gas, groceries and entertainment and dining out and to redeem pts, you buy absolutely anything travel (hotel, flight, rental cars, train etc) and then you log into Scotia rewards and apply your pts to the cent. I booked a hotel recently and was able to take $172.27 off the total after it posted to my account. Very easy to apply the points.

 

It also comes with excellent travel insurance, warranty extension, price protection etc.

 

Scotia will arrange to give you a Visa for places that don't take amex, but if you're really after that maximum rewards, there are excellent no fee cards not affiliated with banks that would compliment the amex well. (Some with MBNA/Cap One and also a Amazon Chase Visa that has 1% rewards and no foreign exchange fees if you buy anything out of country.

 

Has anybody else managed managed to get the AMEX card? I asked for it and said I knew someone who got it. They said they would have to get back to me. Then they said that the advisor who gave this out made a mistake, and that most likely this card would be taken back from the student.

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Has anybody else managed managed to get the AMEX card? I asked for it and said I knew someone who got it. They said they would have to get back to me. Then they said that the advisor who gave this out made a mistake, and that most likely this card would be taken back from the student.

 

I wasn't given it free in place of the passport... I didn't want the passport... and with a sufficient limit, I was approved to switch to the Amex not associated with the professional program. The deal was 1 year free which is being offered to everyone, then a 2nd year free courtesy of the manager I was working with and at the end of 2 years, if I want to keep it, I'll have to request that it's at reduced fee of $59 associated with the other Scotia professional programs . The only thing that may be different for me is that I signed up with Scotia at the end of my 4th year and they were able to list my projected residency income. Leviathan also had the both the passport and the Amex.

 

Shouldn't be too hard for them at the very least to give you 1 year free as is offered to everyone, and then a reduced fee as is offered on the other professional programs at Scotia. You'll have to calculate whether the rewards will justify the fee and you'll need a supplementary Visa/MC for places that don't take Amex.

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Has anybody else managed managed to get the AMEX card? I asked for it and said I knew someone who got it. They said they would have to get back to me. Then they said that the advisor who gave this out made a mistake, and that most likely this card would be taken back from the student.

As mentioned by someone else, I have the Scotia Passport Visa with waived annual fee (as part of my professional LOC), and then I have the Scotia AMEX Gold with $99 fee (waived the first year). I had to provide a paystub from my residency program to get approved.

 

To be honest, I've just tried using the Amex again today and for the millionth time the place did not accept it. Most places seem to refuse the AMEX card, and even grocery stores like Superstore. Costco actually ONLY takes AMEX but it only offers you 1 point per dollar rather than the posted 4. Overall it just seems like a huge hassle and not worth it, so I'll probably be cancelling it before it's up for renewal.

 

I haven't looked at cards in awhile but I think there's a card called Capital One World Aspire that is 2 points per dollar on everything, which I might switch to. The only catch with that card is you have to use your points in blocks.

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Has anybody else managed managed to get the AMEX card? I asked for it and said I knew someone who got it. They said they would have to get back to me. Then they said that the advisor who gave this out made a mistake, and that most likely this card would be taken back from the student.

 

I was told that it's not available instead of the Passport Visa. Also, the reduced $59 fee only applies to the non-student Professional accounts.

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I agree! If someone has done a comparison or has any additional useful information to make a decision, it would be quite useful!

 

 

Regarding your credit line after completion of studies. RBC does now allow you to convert your student credit to a professional credit line. (this is new in the last 2 years) This allows you to keep your credit line fully available to you and interest rate at prime. When the conversion is done a new agreement is provided to you for signing indicating the rate and limit. If you currently do not have $250,000 available to you, you also can request to increase the limit at the time of conversion. For medical program, this conversion applies during your 12 month grace period (after residency and any fellowship) If you do not request to convert the credit line - you will fall into the repayment process at prime after 12 month grace period. So far RBC is the only one that has the conversion option, most banks require you to reapply for additional credit line once the student one is capped. Hope this helps! :)

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Hi all,

 

I just want to share my experience with obtaining a LOC with Scotia at the Hamilton location. Before last week I'd done all my personal banking with TD, and I was pretty set on continuing that but it was a friend at Mac who referred me to Scotia and Adam, after I noticed his contact info in this thread.

 

It has been such an easygoing experience. I mean, part of it should be about the dollars and cents for sure (which Scotia is excellent with, 200K for Med + an additional 75K for residency. Convertible to a loan one year after residency up, but you can pay back at any time if you'd like to accelerate it plus the Passport VISA etc free ScotiaOne account etc.) but the other part that really did it for me was just how welcoming, knowledgeable, and accommodating everyone was.

 

I'm sure that other banks and reps are very friendly as well, but I mean, you will definitely have everything go very smoothly if you decide to go with Scotia. I was approved in no more than 48 hours, was able to get an appointment any time I needed it, and when I needed random documents, money orders for trying to get a place I really wanted to live at on short notice, all I had to do was ask. Added bonus if you are going to Mac and it becomes your home branch is that everyone at the branch is on the same page, so it's never a hassle about explaining your situation. But even if you aren't going to Mac, I think it is worth coming down to Hamilton to run the app with Adam. Then you can just continue to do your banking at your home branch after.

 

If anyone in the GTA is still looking for an LOC, scroll back through this thread and hit up Adam. From first appointment to signing the last document was about 5 days (may be longer as more people start doing their LOCs) and now I'm so happy that I don't go worry about that stuff for the rest of the summer. Plus he gives amazing advice on just any questions related to your personal financial questions your have. I'm looking forward to having him in my corner for the next few years and hopefully even longer.

 

Sorry if it sounds like some greasy sell lol, but it was worth the ramble if a few others are on the fence. Goodluck to everyone starting their medical studies this Fall :)!

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Just requoting the contact info to make it easier to find.

 

Congratulations all Medical Students and Graduates

 

If you have any questions regarding Medical Lines of Credit please don't hesitate to contact me. I would me more than happy to discuss and answer any questions regarding processes and general information regarding specials and options available.

 

Best Regards,

 

Adam

 

Adam Bonnell

Student Professional Advisor

Scotiabank | University Plaza

 

101 Olser Drive, Unit #138, Dundas, Ontario, Canada, L9H 4H4

T 1.905.627.9211 EXT 4300 F 1.905.627.2977

Adam.Bonnell@scotiabank.com

Scotiabank.com

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Should I open a LOC before or after medical school starts? I was thinking that after it starts, I would have access to MDPhysicianServices (maybe they can negotiate for me?).

 

Most (if not all) banks already offer interest at prime rate, and I highly doubt any banks will be willing to go lower than this, even with negotiations by MD Services.

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