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LemonTort

Update on Scotia vs TD

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I want to give a brief summary of my experience getting a PSLOC. I think it summarizes and confirms a number of posts I read in previous threads.

 

TD

 

I've been a TD client for years, and I'd read that they had recently lowered their PSLOC rate to prime, so I went to them first. The TD terms were as follows:

 

- Limit of $100,00

- Prime

- Interest payments due throughout the lifetime of the LOC

- Repayment schedule beginning immediately after the articling year

 

The TD employee who I went through the process with seemed pretty junior, and he was obviously reading off of a script. He seemed like he was in a hurry to get the application submitted, so he fudged my employment history and neglected to list my other financial assets. When I expressed a concern about this, I was told that it would be fine, since I was accepted to a well-respected law school and would be approved either way.

 

I was approved at prime, but only for the first year. I was told I would have to reapply for the remaining years. Needless to say I was a bit frustrated, in light of the above.

 

 

Scotiabank

 

Next I went to Scotiabank. Their terms were as follows:

 

- Limit of $100,000

- Prime + 0.5%

- No payments due until repayment schedule begins

- Repayment schedule beginning one year after the articling year

- Fees paid on a nearly-unlimited chequing account with free overdraft protection 

- Fees paid on an Amex Gold Rewards card (which has great rewards and features) with a $10,000 limit

 

Obviously, Scotiabank is better on perks and on the repayment schedule, but their rate was higher. Also, Scotiabank's call centre twice scheduled my appointment with the wrong person, which was a bit of a headache.

 

When I did meet with someone, it was with a small business advisor. She was obviously more senior than the person I met at TD, and much more helpful. (Judging by previous threads, not all Scotiabank PSLOC applications are handled by small business advisors, but you should request one if possible.) She told me that she would ask for an exemption to bring my rate down to prime in order to compete with TD.

 

After a few days I was approved for the full $100,00 and they made an exception and lowered my rate to prime. I signed with Scotiabank and am currently awaiting my ballin'-ass credit card.

 

When I told the TD rep about Scotiabank's offer, he made no effort to bring me back onboard. I told him I got a free unlimited chequing account and a great credit card, and all he offered was to switch me onto TD's super-basic student account, which has a 25-transaction limit. There was no real attempt to keep my business.

 

Part of me would have preferred to stick with TD. They tend to have better hours and more locations, and I had previously been happy with their customer service. Alas, their offer just didn't compete.

 

TL;DR 

 

I got approved by TD at prime, and used that as leverage to convince Scotiabank to make and exception and lower their rate to prime, which gave me access to Scotiabank's more generous terms and perks! You may want to try this yourselves.

 

 

Caveats:

 

Do you own research! It's a big decision. Don't trust a stranger on the internet, obviously.

 

Neither bank asked me for a cosigner, which may be related to the fact that I'm a bit older and have decent credit. I've heard that some people do need someone to cosign. 

 

Also, I did not apply to RBC or CIBC. At a glance their programs didn't look as good, but if you have time they may be worth talking to as well. I did talk to my local credit union, but they didn't even know what  PSLOC was, so that settled that...

 

Edit:

 

Fixed some typos.

Edited by LemonTort
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Hey guys! Long time lurker, first time poster.
 
Just to echo your thoughts @LemonTort, I too went on quite the adventure exploring my options for a PSLOC. I also came to the realization that Scotia is the gold standard in professional lines right now, and it seems none of the other Big Five care. 
 
TD also offered me prime but I felt that their overall package was lacking. It's great to see that they recently raised their cap (it was previously set at 80k, I think), and lowered their interest rate to prime but Scotia definitely has the most comprehensive package in the market right now. 
 
A few comments on RBC:
I've been with RBC since I was a child so I went to my local branch first to see what their offerings were. The way things were explained to me was that they would offer a total amount of 80k, but any government student loan I received would be deducted from the total. In other words, if I received 20k this year in government student assistance, I would only be eligible for 60k from RBC. RBC also wanted a budget each year before they would release the funds. 
 
Another negative: Going into my meeting I knew other institutions were offering prime rate so I asked my account manager whether RBC would entertain such a rate. My advisor had to go to the area manager, who said due to RBC just dropping from prime + 1 to prime + .5, they weren't willing to go down any further. 
 
On the plus side, no cosigner was required but YMMV.
 
I told them about what TD and Scotia are offering but they had no problem letting me walk out the door. No attempt to keep my business whatsoever.
 
Scotiabank:
Can't say enough good things about the process thus far. The application process was quick and easy and I received an answer within 2-3 days. I was approved for the full 100k, AMEX/Visa, free banking, etc. It's a great package, even at prime + .5. Just be forewarned that they will ask you to cancel other credit facilities, or the amount of those other accounts will be deducted from the 100k cap.
 
I too used TD's offer to get them down to prime rate. My advisor passed it along to his superiors and within a few days I heard back that the new rate was approved. Sweet!
 
Credit Union:
As much as I'd like to support my local CU, their current rates for lines of credit are upwards of 5%. No free banking, no swanky credit cards, and no payment deferrals. Sorry guys, not happening!

 

In closing:

I'd certainly advise anyone looking to open a PSLOC to seriously explore your options to see what best meets your financial needs. Law school isn't cheap and ensuring that you are managing your finances as best as possible can make a world of difference when it comes time to pay your loans back.

 

The cardinal rule that I'd advise everyone to follow is that just because you're approved for 100k doesn't mean you have to spend it. DON'T! Use your LOC as financing of last resort. Exhaust your government loans and personal resources prior to taking money from your LOC. This ensures you pay the least amount of interest possible while you're in school. Once it comes time to pay back government student loans, if the interest rate is favourable consider consolidating them into your PSLOC. (If your credit limit allows.)

Edited by scotian16
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This whole thread is giving me the shills...

Certainly a pro-Scotia thread at the moment, but my comments are unsolicited and genuine.

 

If you or anyone else have great experiences with other banks I encourage you to share them. They're certainly useful for anyone trying to make a decision on how to finance their legal education.

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I'll note that in my case, Scotiabank divided the $10,000 limit between the Amex Gold Rewards and a Scotia Gold Passport (VISA). They weren't as strict on closing all of my credit cards. I mentioned wanting to keep a long standing card that has a low limit and no mention was made of removing that card's limit off my LOC.

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This whole thread is giving me the shills...

 

I just want to address this quickly:

 

I can't speak for anyone else on this forum, but I have no ties to Scotiabank. I don't have, and have never had, any employment or business relationship with them or any other bank, and neither have any of my family or friends.

 

Moreover, my advice to anyone who's looking at a PSLOC is to beware of what the bank's game is. Any bank that offers you perks is doing so in order to win over your current and future business so that they can make money off of you. Now that they have you as a customer, they're hoping that goodwill and inertia will cause you to go back to them for things like business banking, mortgages, financial planning, and wealth management.

 

I strongly advise people not to fall for it. Examine each major financial decision independently and go for the best deal you can get at that time. You'd be an idiot to stay loyal toward a bank because they gave you a gold Amex card in your twenties. Scotia, like every other bank, is trying to use you in ways that serve their interests, and you should be careful only to use them when it suits yours.

Edited by LemonTort
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Examine each major financial decision independently and go for the best deal you can get at that time. You'd be an idiot to stay loyal toward a bank because they gave you a gold Amex card in your twenties. Scotia, like every other bank, is trying to use you in ways that serve their interests, and you should be careful only to use them when it suits yours.

This. There's so much Scotia-love going around here, but for me (and maybe this is because I'm a bit older, maybe not) Scotia made no financial sense. TD was my best option. I already had high-limit low-interest credit cards with them, which Scotia wanted me to cancel in favour of their low-limit high-interest cards with "rewards" I would never use.

 

Scotia also gave me grief about getting the PSLOC at prime, for really no reason at all. I also kind of don't like that they advertise not having to pay until a year after articling - they want to keep you in debt (but I also understand some of us may have trouble getting employed). (TD wants to keep me in debt too but they want me to start paying earlier.)

 

Anyway, interest is a big deal for me as it directly impacts how long I will carry the debt. Yes, my TD rep seemed a bit less informed than my Scotia rep but the process of getting approved wasn't any more difficult. It was more than worth it for me.

Edited by Strawbree

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To counter that:

 

I've been banking with TD for almost a decade now, and have had a credit card with them for over half that time. I didn't like how little they tried to retain my business. I went in fully wanting to stay with TD so long as I got the same rate and max that Scotia was offering - credit cards be damned - but they wouldn't even put in a modicum of effort to try and match the max limit that Scotia was giving. I get that they may just not have been able to at that point (their policy changed right around that time so I'm not sure if it had gone through or not yet) but they didn't seem to care that they'd be losing a decade long customer. So I said thanks, closed my credit card, and packed my bags.

 

To each their own experience. I recommend anyone still shopping around to visit each bank and see what they're offered, rather than just sticking to the first offer you get.

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pzabbythesecond, yes I had that experience the first time I went in and their limit was still 80k. No room for negotiations. I went back after Scotia wanted me to cancel my cards and TD increased their limit to 100k. The second rep I had was much better.

 

But I totally agree that everyone should be informed and shop around. All of our circumstances are different and we have different needs. You have to look out for your own best interests because a glorified sales rep at the bank is not looking out for you. Read your contract and ask questions.

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pzabbythesecond, yes I had that experience the first time I went in and their limit was still 80k. No room for negotiations. I went back after Scotia wanted me to cancel my cards and TD increased their limit to 100k. The second rep I had was much better.

 

But I totally agree that everyone should be informed and shop around. All of our circumstances are different and we have different needs. You have to look out for your own best interests because a glorified sales rep at the bank is not looking out for you. Read your contract and ask questions.

 

if only we had the option of reading our own contracts after we've been taught how to accurately interpret them :)

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Hi all,

 

I am a Small Business/Professional Banking Advisor with Scotiabank here in Halifax and I joined the forum to answer any questions and provide support wherever I can. Feel free to ask me about what we can offer or if you need any clarification on anything.

 

Scotiabank

 

Next I went to Scotiabank. Their terms were as follows:

 

- Limit of $100,000

- Prime + 0.5%

- No payments due until repayment schedule begins

- Repayment schedule beginning one year after the articling year

- Fees paid on a nearly-unlimited chequing account with free overdraft protection 

- Fees paid on an Amex Gold Rewards card (which has great rewards and features) with a $10,000 limit

 

Obviously, Scotiabank is better on perks and on the repayment schedule, but their rate was higher. Also, Scotiabank's call centre twice scheduled my appointment with the wrong person, which was a bit of a headache.

 

When I did meet with someone, it was with a small business advisor. She was obviously more senior than the person I met at TD, and much more helpful. (Judging by previous threads, not all Scotiabank PSLOC applications are handled by small business advisors, but you should request one if possible.) She told me that she would ask for an exemption to bring my rate down to prime in order to compete with TD.

 

After a few days I was approved for the full $100,00 and they made an exception and lowered my rate to prime. I signed with Scotiabank and am currently awaiting my ballin'-ass credit card.

 I want to point out how important it is to get in front of the right advisor when it comes to the Scotia Professional Student Plan. We have dedicated advisors across the country which you should speak with, as most branches and advisors will not have the experience and expertise to deal with these as we do. Do yourself a favour and get in touch with the right advisor, it is better for everyone that way. There is at least one advisor for each of the Law programs at Universities across Canada, so look through the list to find the right advisor for you. You can find the list here: http://www.scotiabank.com/ca/common/pdf/personal_banking/Scotiabank_SPSP_representative_English.pdf

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