A federal benefit in Canada is available to help students with the costs of higher education.
The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is a programme in which the Canadian government contributes up to $2,000 to a student’s Registered Education Savings Plan on behalf of parents of children under the age of 18 and students aged 18–20. (RESP).
Full-time or part-time study at an accredited institution of higher learning (university, college, or trade school) is eligible for CLB funding. This includes apprenticeship programmes, Collèges d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEPs), and other post-secondary institutions.
Each qualified child can receive up to $2,000 in federal RESP contributions.
The first year a child is eligible, they will receive $500, and each subsequent year, up until the benefit year in which they turn 15, they will receive an additional $100.
Although a RESP must be opened in order to receive CLB funding, no initial deposit is required.
If I am over the age of 18, am I still eligible for the Canada Learning Bond?
The federal government offers the CLB to students who are 18 or older.
If you were eligible for the CLB as a child but did not receive it, you can open a RESP and apply for it between the day you turn 18 and the day before you turn 21.
If you were qualified for the CLB for at least one year before you turned 15, you are eligible for a larger payout.
Is a Canada Learning Bond available to anyone?
If you satisfy these requirements, you may be qualified for the CLB:
- if your birthday is on or after January 1, 2004 and you are a Canadian resident, or if your parent or former primary carer applied for the CLB and had a low adjusted income for at least one year before you turned 15, you may be eligible for this programme.
- The CLB award you receive is also based on your primary caregiver’s adjusted income and the number of children in your household before you turned 15.
Where do I go to apply for my Canada Learning Bond?
After turning 18, you can apply for the CLB on your own if you were previously eligible as a child but did not receive it.
An RESP and a valid social insurance number are prerequisites for applying for the CLB.
If you have a RESP and the government deposits a CLB into it, you have the option of using the funds right away to help cover education costs or saving them for later.
The maximum allowed time for which a RESP can be maintained is 35 years.
To get your hands on your College Loan Repayment (CLR) funds, you must first make a withdrawal request at your bank.
Proof of enrollment at a qualifying school, either in Canada or abroad, is required in order to receive an educational assistance payment.
Costs like tuition, books, tools, transportation, and lodging can all be covered with a little help from the CLB.
When I received a Canada Learning Bond, do I have to pay it back?
If the RESP is closed and the student does not enrol in postsecondary education, the CLB funds will be returned to the federal government.
That is true whether you received CLB benefits as a child through your parents or as an adult.
You don’t have to pay back your federal student loan money if you use it to further your education.