FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, November 1st, 2016 – Effective as of today, post-secondary graduates are no longer required to pay back their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 annually. Originally proposed in Budget 2016, this change represents significant progress towards establishing a post-secondary education system that is affordable for all.
“One of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations’ (CASA) core beliefs is that students should not accumulate an unreasonable or insupportable amount of debt in the pursuit of or in continuation of a post-secondary education,” says Michael McDonald, CASA's Executive Director. “This increase to the Repayment Assistance Plan income threshold will be instrumental in providing relief for recent graduates, and allowing them time to transition into the next stage of life.”
To date, the Repayment Assistance Plan has proven to be one of the most successful and cost-effective programs for helping Canadians to manage their student loan debt. From 2013-2014, roughly 234,000 students or 31% of Canada Student Loan borrowers benefited from the program. Since its implementation, student loan default rates have also hit record lows.
Mr. McDonald explains, “The reality is that many entry-level salaries are insufficient to cover both the costs of living and student loan payments. For this reason, CASA brought forward recommendations to amend the Repayment Assistance Plan last year. We are pleased to see those recommendations coming to fruition.”
Canadians currently struggling with student loan debt are encouraged to contact the National Student Loans Service Centre for information on the options available.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 21 student associations representing 250,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224