How to save thousands on your Canadian student loan debt
The federal government is providing a $1,000 credit towards your student loans for the first time.
Starting this fall, borrowers who qualify will have a $200 credit toward their federal student loans, up from $100 earlier this year.
The credit will be available to borrowers who borrow $2,000 a year or more, or who meet the income thresholds for the most recent year.
For borrowers who earn less than $50,000, the credit will not be available.
The new credit is aimed at people who borrow for student loans at the height of the housing crisis and who have not yet repaid their loans, said Jean-Pierre Deschamps, director of the Canadian Student Loan Council.
“We’re very concerned about this.
People are facing these enormous student debt and it’s just too much for them to handle,” he said.
The federal Liberals, which passed a controversial legislation last year to cut off student loans to those with income of less than the maximum allowed, have since announced a new plan to end the debt forgiveness programs for people who earn between $50 and $150,000.
That program will not come into effect until next year.
But the Liberals have also pledged to end student loan interest rates on all new loans, which means borrowers with the new credit will have an extra $500 or so to help them repay their loans.
The government is also rolling out a suite of income-based repayment programs that will help borrowers who need more help than $100 a month to pay their student loans.
For people earning more than $180,000 annually, those programs will cost them a maximum of $1.5 million.
For borrowers who make less than that, the government is offering a $500 credit to help with payments, and a $50 credit for borrowers who can’t make their monthly payments.
For those who make between $60,000 and $120,000 each, the maximum amount the government will be offering is $300.
The federal government has also said it will start phasing out the annual interest payments on some student loans in 2020.
This is to help those who are struggling to repay their student loan.
The change comes as interest rates for some loans are being lowered, in part to try to spur borrowers to take on more debt.
The lower interest rates are also being touted as a means of helping borrowers who have the most debt get their finances back on track.
Debt reduction and a reduction in monthly payments are two key elements of a repayment plan, said Amanda Smith, a debt-management expert at the Canadian Council on Education.
The current repayment plan is aimed primarily at people at the lowest income levels, she said.
But if borrowers are able to take advantage of the new federal credit, she believes they can do much better than they can currently.
“If you can make more than 30 per cent, you can pay off your loan in three to five years.
That’s a huge benefit to many families,” she said, adding that borrowers who are able or willing to take the federal government’s offer to help will have far more success.
As of January 1, all students will receive a $600 credit to cover the cost of the credit, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 that will be automatically deducted from their monthly loans, whichever is greater.
If the student makes more than that amount, he or she will be able to use the credit to reduce their monthly loan payments.
The move comes as Canada’s student debt is on the rise.
In the first quarter of 2019, Canadians owed $1 trillion, or $11.5 billion, of their loans on average, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
That figure jumped by over $1 billion in the first half of 2019.