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Anyone with experience with Knowledge First Financial - RESP??

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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 1, 2012
9 posts
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Vancouver

Anyone with experience with Knowledge First Financial - RESP??

Does anyone have any experience with Knowledge First Financial, formerly USC Education Savings Plans Inc? We got the RESP from them few years ago.. didn't know going through the Banks would be easier & better :( Is this company doing okay? Assuming the kid is going for college, will it make any difference if the RESP is purchased somewhere else? If getting the RESP from them isn't a good idea, is there any way out?? We've been contributing the RESP for a number of years. Please help. Thanks!
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Sep 4, 2007
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For these RESP plans, once you are in, the cost to pull out is very high. Much like cashing out your life insurance.

That said, both our kids are currently on their system. One is already pulling funds out of the interest earned. The other just started post sec and we just got our deposit (less commission) back.

The subject of RESP is pretty complicated. I think most ppl do it just to get that 20% from the govt.

Just look at it as another form of forced savings. Like everything else in life, there is always something better elsewhere but you need to invest the time/effort to read/understand it. In the end, all investing carries risk. As we always say here, YMMV.
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dvd5 wrote:
Sep 19th, 2012 11:50 pm
For these RESP plans, once you are in, the cost to pull out is very high. Much like cashing out your life insurance.That said, both our kids are currently on their system. One is already pulling funds out of the interest earned. The other just started post sec and we just got our deposit (less commission) back.

The subject of RESP is pretty complicated. I think most ppl do it just to get that 20% from the govt.

Just look at it as another form of forced savings. Like everything else in life, there is always something better elsewhere but you need to invest the time/effort to read/understand it. In the end, all investing carries risk. As we always say here, YMMV.
Not sure I understand what you are saying here. How is Life insurance costly to pull out of? Are you saying if you stop paying you lose the benefit? Well obviously. Or are you talking about the cash values which are obviously subject to tax as its grown (or hopefully it has) tax deferred?

Please explain.
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Dec 6, 2010
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ehthuang wrote:
Sep 19th, 2012 3:11 pm
Does anyone have any experience with Knowledge First Financial, formerly USC Education Savings Plans Inc? We got the RESP from them few years ago.. didn't know going through the Banks would be easier & better :( Is this company doing okay? Assuming the kid is going for college, will it make any difference if the RESP is purchased somewhere else? If getting the RESP from them isn't a good idea, is there any way out?? We've been contributing the RESP for a number of years. Please help. Thanks!
One of their reps contacted me and gave the presentation, I am pretty unimpressed with these scholarship pool-based companies. They have high upfront costs (first couple of yrs you would only be paying them) and it sucks if for any reason you need to take your money out. They promise you better returns but basically they rely on someone else to pull out due to hardships which I believe is ethically wrong.
[OP]
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Apr 1, 2012
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Vancouver
Hi DVD5,

So you are on their system, too? I guess the RESP doesn't function like the RRSP which you can transfer from one institution to another one? In that case, I guess we might be better off to stick with them since we've already contributed for many years? Yes, we enrolled the RESP because of the gov't grant. We pay around $285 monthy. Does that sound reasonable? We honestly didn't do a lot of comparasions when we started the RESP plan.
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wesboag wrote:
Sep 20th, 2012 10:17 am
Not sure I understand what you are saying here. How is Life insurance costly to pull out of? Are you saying if you stop paying you lose the benefit? Well obviously. Or are you talking about the cash values which are obviously subject to tax as its grown (or hopefully it has) tax deferred?

Please explain.
If I recall reading my policy, the 1st or 2nd year really has no cash value build up. So if you cancel, then you got nothing back. Yes, I know it is a way of forced saving. Same for these RESPs. That's why we also have the ones from the bank.
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ehthuang wrote:
Sep 20th, 2012 7:33 pm
Hi DVD5,

So you are on their system, too? I guess the RESP doesn't function like the RRSP which you can transfer from one institution to another one? In that case, I guess we might be better off to stick with them since we've already contributed for many years? Yes, we enrolled the RESP because of the gov't grant. We pay around $285 monthy. Does that sound reasonable? We honestly didn't do a lot of comparasions when we started the RESP plan.
Well, how much you contribute monthly is really based on what you can afford. I know they show you all these charts and you think holy smoke, that much for a university tuition, plus room & board. So you feel bad not buying up so many units. But at the end of the day, make sure it is an amount that you are comfortable with. No different than buying a car or a house. Those monthly payment must be within your means. With these plans offered by USC, you hope more people drop out, then the earned income gets divided up by the remaining members.
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dvd5 wrote:
Sep 21st, 2012 12:25 am
If I recall reading my policy, the 1st or 2nd year really has no cash value build up. So if you cancel, then you got nothing back. Yes, I know it is a way of forced saving. Same for these RESPs. That's why we also have the ones from the bank.
That is definitely not the same thing as "high fees". The reason the cash values are non existent during the first couple years is because of the allocation of premiums to the cost of insurnace, paid up additions, dividends, etc. What happens after the 3rd, 4th and 5th year and beyond? Have a look through your policy and pay attention to the internal rate of return.

Life insurance is not meant to be "cashed out". It is meant to stay in force for a reason, in case you pass away. It has nothing in common with those Education plans designed to screw ppl should a post secondary education not pan out. If your insurance advisor sold you this product for the "investment value" in the short term, thats terrible.
Last edited by TomRFD on Sep 21st, 2012 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Newbie
Nov 23, 2011
1 posts
STITTSVILLE
Stay as far away from Knowledgefirst as you can.[/B] They are a bunch of crooks who are only iterested in making commission. I am in the middle of a huge fight with them... when the agent actually returns my calls. I have a family plan with them and for some reason they have put my two children into three different plans and can't explain to me why. I actually called in to their head office to find out what was going on and the agent I spoke to there said that this isn't right and it's a mismanagement of my money. Have a meeting tomorrow night with an agent (acutally returned my call and not very happy about having to come to my house for an evening appt) so lets hope for the best but not expecting it.
Newbie
Apr 28, 2013
1 posts
Cambridge
I have been a "customer" of USC/Knowledge First Financial for 22 years! My daughter has been a full-time post-secondary student since she was 17. Knowledge First has issues with the Quebec CEGEP system, and they make it very hard to get all your money back. Currently, my daughter has to send an appeal letter to the committee stating why she did not ask for her money previously. The fact being that they made it so difficult, due to their lack of knowledge with the CEGEP program. Literally, they would not provide it to her first year in CEGEP, which is a full-time secondary program in Quebec, because she was only 17. Age should not be a reason not to provide funds. Two years later they provided her our principle paid. Now entering her last year of university, they want a confirmation from the CEGEP's registrar's office that she completed that program, and a letter of appeal to the Appeals Committee at Knowledge First. If I do not receive funds from these people soon, I will be sending a letter to the Internal Auditor of the Government of Canada, as it is the matching funds and interest earned that Knowledge First does not want to disburse.
Newbie
May 26, 2013
6 posts
Just remember, Banks are there to make money (profit) and Knowledge First Financial I a not for profit organization. Also, KFF (formerly USC) started education savings plan long before Banks got into it and Government began RESP. Both of my two children passed through the system (USC) and I am very happy about the whole experience.
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rajchak wrote:
May 27th, 2013 5:44 pm
Just remember, Banks are there to make money (profit) and Knowledge First Financial I a not for profit organization. Also, KFF (formerly USC) started education savings plan long before Banks got into it and Government began RESP. Both of my two children passed through the system (USC) and I am very happy about the whole experience.
Someone just registered today to say good things about USC LOL

Might as well give your business card so we can contact you for RESP needs :lol:
Newbie
May 26, 2013
6 posts
gta_guy wrote:
May 28th, 2013 1:55 pm
Someone just registered today to say good things about USC LOL

Might as well give your business card so we can contact you for RESP needs :lol:
Thanks for your sarcastic comment. Note that I do not sell RESP (that you assumed with your intelligence). All I wanted to say is I personally benefitted from the USC plan I bought for my children.
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Dec 6, 2010
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rajchak wrote:
May 30th, 2013 2:23 pm
Thanks for your sarcastic comment. Note that I do not sell RESP (that you assumed with your intelligence). All I wanted to say is I personally benefitted from the USC plan I bought for my children.
Yes but there are way too many ppl on this forum who have complaints again USC and it is very skeptical to have some just registered to give out positive comments. I am pretty sure every one here will exercise their "intelligence"
Newbie
Jun 7, 2013
1 posts
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We had a policy for our son, which we fell behind on and eventually cancelled. I opened one with my bank and wanted to roll the $ over to my bank R.E.S.P from the Knowlesge First one. I got a letter in the mail sayin all the gtants went back to the government (which was expected). All the principle moneys which I put in were eatin up by lots of service fees, which left me with no $ to roll over. I had a lady at my bank contact them on my behalf, the lady at my bank could harldy believe all the rediculous fees. Get a R.E.S.P through your bank, u only pay a fee when it is cashed out, never any rediculous maintenance fees etc. I learned my lesson the hard way!

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