Choosing to pursue a post-graduate degree often ends up costing more than students expect, according to research released by Toronto-based TD Canada Trust on Wednesday.

Results from TD’s Savings Poll reveal that 30% of post-graduate students end up with more debt than they had anticipated. Furthermore, about 40% of survey respondents said they had difficulty in the first two years after graduation making minimum payments on their loan.

Financial advisors have a role to play in helping to make sure students don’t get bogged down in debt, according to Shahz Beig, associate vice-president, TD Canada Trust in Toronto, and to help them pay off those loans once they enter the workforce.

“It’s important to advise clients to create a realistic budget and to monitor their spending and their cash flow,” says Beig, “so that they can actually live comfortably while they’re in school and meet other financial obligations, such as student debt and living expenses.”

TD’s survey also found that many post-grads end up putting off other life events because of their student debt. For example, 40% of post-grad respondents said they had put off buying their first home, 36% said they were postponing starting a family, 23% of respondents had postponed getting married, while 18% of post-grads plan to live with their parents longer in order to pay off their loans.

The poll was conducted by Environics Research Group through an online custom survey. The 590 respondents were Canadians currently enrolled in a post-graduate program or who had attended such a program in the last three years. The survey was conducted between January 10 and 25.