Last spring, the Canadian government announced new rules for paying back your student loan, as part of this year’s federal budget.
As of Nov 1, 2016, these rules are now active:
. Graduates no longer have to start paying off their loans until they’re earning at least $25,000 a year.
. Under the old rules, graduates had to start paying back their Canada Student Loans once they earned $20,210 a year.
. For families of five or more people, the cut-off is now $67,825.
. The CBC reports that, “Official figures show three-quarters of a million Canadians had student loans from the federal government during the 2013-2014 school year.”
Keep in mind that these new rules aren’t about bringing the cost of education down. They’re designed to alleviate a small amount of the stress of repaying student loans—to help prevent loan repayments from financially crippling you post-graduation.
The government has made an initiative towards more accessible education by increasing it’s budget for student grants, which do not have to be repaid. The government will increase spending on grants by more than $1.5 billion over the next five years. This could translate to an increase of as much as 50 per cent for certain grants:
. From $2,000 to $3,000 per year for full-time students from low-income families.
. From $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families.
. From $1,200 to $1,800 per year for part-time students from low-income families.
If you’re currently having difficulty making your monthly Canada Student Loan payment, you can also apply for help under the Repayment Assistance Plan, which, depending on your financial situation, could make you eligible to pay a reduce payment or no monthly payment at all.
And of course, there’s always Canada’s Luckiest Student. We’re going to change one student’s life with $20,000 in cash, and $20,000 in other prizes. That’s just us doing our (not so) small part.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.