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Student Debt in Canada Statistics

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Author: Comfynorth Team

Student loans are one of the common problems of many students in Canada, and many people seem to be in some sort of student debt. If you’ve ever wondered how much debt Canadian students are in, our research will be interesting to you.

We’ve gone through lots of official reports and statistics to come up with a brief summary of different aspects of student debt in Canada. Our research resulted in 10 facts, which can mean a lot for the future of this issue in Canada.

In this article, we will be going through these student debt in Canada statistics and investigate the effect of them and what to expect in the future.

Key Findings

  • Total student loan amount in Canada is more than 18.2 billion dollars. [1]
  • The Average student loan debt in Canada is more than $28,000. [2]
  • There are more than 1.7 million student loan borrowers in Canada. [3]
  • The Canada Student Loan program can cover up to 60 percent of the tuition costs. [4]
  • Most students take more than 10 years to pay off their loans. [5]
  • Average amount of grants given to students in Canada is $2,600. [6]
  • 55% of Canadian students with loans got government-backed loans. [7]
  • Out of the students who got loans, 51% don’t think that they will be able to pay the next year’s tuition fee. [8]
  • Master’s and Doctorate students owe the most among students in loan debts. [9]
  • 64% of graduated students still were in debt even 3 years after graduation. [10]

Total student loan amount in Canada is more than 18.2 billion dollars. 

The first thing to search is to know exactly how much student debt in Canada really is in total. That helps us know how much money is actually being spent.

As a result of our research, we realized that students in Canada are in a total debt of at least 18.2 billion dollars. Considering the fact that universities in Canada have a yearly total income of 12 billion dollars from student tuition fees, you can see how 18.2 billion is actually a high amount for students to be in debt to the governmental and non-governmental services. [11]

The Average student loan debt in Canada is more than $28,000, ranging between different levels and fields. 

We know that there are some fields such as medicine that have higher tuition. Even with that in mind, there is a need for a number that can show approximately how much students have borrowed from governmental and non-governmental sources. 

With student debt in Ontario being around $26,000 on average, and in some other places being as high as $30,000, $28,000 is an easy estimated average student loan debt in Canada. Keep in mind that Bachelor’s students are also at an average of $26,000 and Ph.D. graduates are at an average of $32,000 of debt to governmental and non-governmental sources.

This shows us that even though there are different levels to the amount of loan given to different students, they can expect to get an average of 28,000 dollars of loan.

There are more than 1.7 million student loan borrowers in Canada.

It is essential to know how many students actually take loans. This data comes to use especially when we have to analyze other data in the future.

There are 1.7 million student loan borrowers currently. Out of all these people, around 50% of them have still not paid their debts off. These student debt in Canada statistics mean that there are more than 800,000 students who are currently in debt. This data should also not be mistaken with the number of people who take the grants, which is around 380,000 students. Grants are given to students on special occasions, and some loans can actually cancel out the grants.

The Canada Student Loan program can cover up to 60 percent of the tuition costs. 

So students can take loans in several ways. These ways include the governmental way or the bank credit lines and non-governmental organizations. We were curious to know how much the government loans can actually help students, so we looked it up.

The governmental Canada Student Loan Program covers up to 60 percent of the tuition costs. This means that even though the average tuition is approximately $6,600, this program can only cover around 3,900 dollars of it, and the rest of it has to be paid by the students anyways. Keep in mind that this is just the average tuition, and depending on the study field or the study level it can definitely change.

Also read: Home Improvement Industry Statistics in Canada

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Most students take 10 years and even more to pay off their loans.

The next question that arises is whether all the students get to pay off their loans immediately after finishing their studies. This depends heavily on the major that the student spent time studying.

For example, for majors like medicine, they are likely to find a job that pays them a lot, so they can pay off their debts easily. The same goes with some other majors that have a huge industry ready for them to make money. On the other hand, some other majors find themselves paying off their debts even after 15 years of graduation. Some of these students even try to get more loans from banks.

Average amount of grants given to students in Canada is $2,600, ranging between full-time and part-time students. 

According to the student debt in Canada statistics that we researched, the only thing that students get is not just loans. In other words, students can also get grants, which means a gift that the government gives them for starting to study. They will never have to pay the grant back, but they might also get some money in the form of loans. 

An average student grant is about $2,600, which is non-repayable. Depending on whether the student is a full-time or part-time student, they can get different grants and loans. Sometimes, the student will not be getting any grant, but instead a very huge loan. 

74% of Canadian students with loans got government-backed loans rather than non-governmental ones.

We have mentioned before that students can get their loans from two sources: governmental or non-governmental ones like banks and credit lines. It is interesting to know how many people actually rely on the government for their loans.

Our research has revealed that around %74 of students get loans with government-backed sources. Even though this includes the majority of students, some of them later on resort to getting loans from other credit lines and organizations that offer more loans so they can pay off their tuition in the upcoming years.

Out of the students who got loans, 51% don’t think that they will be able to pay the next year’s tuition fee.

The reason why many students get loans is the financial struggle. This financial struggle continues later on even after the students get the loans.

Among the students who get the student loan, 51% are concerned with the next year’s tuition. Furthermore, 68% of the students are worried whether their saves are going to be finished. In addition to that, 54% of students also end up getting even more loans to improve their situation or afford more things.

With the COVID-19 situation, these student debt in Canada statistics tend to grow even worse. Students usually end up getting help from their families and friends to pay for the tuition and afford living on their own.

Also read: Work Life Balance Statistics in Canada

Master’s and Doctorate students owe more than Bachelor’s and college students.

There are different levels of study and obviously, the higher you go, there is more university fee, and naturally, more debts. Therefore, we came to realize through our research that even though college students can be in a debt of around $25,000, Ph.D. and master’s students can be in debts of up to $33,000.

Students with higher education can end up getting higher paying jobs, as well, and they can pay off their debts. However, according to the student debt in Canada statistics, only 20% of students have debts higher than $25,000, which means students of higher levels of education.

Even though we have mentioned before that the average debt for students is $28,000, about 50% of college students owe only $15,000, this means that these numbers can range between $10,000 to $40,000.

64% of graduated students still were in debt even 3 years after graduation. 

The last thing we wanted to know was the number of students who were still in debt after 3 years. We have established that many students take up to 15 years to pay off their loans. However, we had to find out exactly how many students end up taking longer than 3 years to pay their debts.

What we found out was interesting. Around 36% of students manage to pay off their loans up to 3 years from graduation, which mainly refers to the students paying their student debt in Ontario much more frequently compared to other regions. This number shows that some students, depending on their family’s aid or major, can end up paying off their debts. Even though this number isn’t huge, it shows that there is still a chance for some students to become debt-free. We must keep in mind that the majority is still struggling with their debts for a long time anyway.

The Wrap

According to the student debt in Canada statistics shared with you in this article, there is so much improvement needed to be done regarding the loans that have not been paid off yet, and the amount of loans that more students are going to need. Considering the fact that many students have problems paying for other expenses and tuition of the upcoming years of their study, more loans are likely to be given, as well.

How is the student loan situation in your country? Do you have any experiences with the student debt system in Canada? Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with us in the comment section.

FAQs

How long does it take to pay off student loans in Canada?

Most students will still be paying for their student debts after 10 years of graduation. Some of them even take up to 15 years.

How many Canadians currently have student loan debt?

Around 50% of students are in some sort of student debt in Canada right now. This means approximately 1 million students are still in debt.

Conclusion

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References:

  1. Canada Student Loans Program statistical review 2016 to 2017. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/canada-student-loans-grants/reports/cslp-statistical-2016-2017.html
  2. Paying off student loans fast with these four steps. Retrieved from https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/solutions/student-advice/repaying-student-loans/
  3. Paying off student loans fast with these four steps. Retrieved from https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/solutions/student-advice/repaying-student-loans/
  4. A Guide to Student Loans. Retrieved from https://www.cibc.com/en/personal-banking/loans-and-lines-of-credit/articles-resources/student-loan-guide.html
  5. Paying off student loans fast with these four steps. Retrieved from https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/solutions/student-advice/repaying-student-loans/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Canadian%20Student,a%20job%20in%20your%20field.
  6. Trends in student debt of postsecondary graduates in Canada. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2020001/article/00005-eng.htm
  7. Trends in student debt of postsecondary graduates in Canada. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2020001/article/00005-eng.htm
  8. Trends in student debt of postsecondary graduates in Canada. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2020001/article/00005-eng.htm
  9. Student debt from all sources, by province of study and level of study. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3710003601
  10. Trends in student debt of postsecondary graduates in Canada. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2020001/article/00005-eng.htm
  11. Revenue of universities and degree-granting colleges in Canada in 2019/20, by type of revenue. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/454048/revenue-degree-granting-colleges-and-universities-in-canada-by-type/#:~:text=In%202019%2F20%2C%20Canadian%20universities,from%20tuition%20and%20other%20fees.

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