Being a college student in Canada is about to get a whole lot easier. Starting Tuesday, people who borrowed money to finance their higher education will not have to pay back their government loans until their yearly earnings exceed $25,000, CTV News reported. It's part of the Canada Student Loans Program's Repayment Assistance Plan.
"The future prosperity of our country depends on young Canadians getting the education and training needed to succeed in the job market," MaryAnn Mihychuk, the minister of employment, workforce development and labor, said in a news release published Sunday. "As a result of this new measure, students will be better positioned to transition into the workforce after graduation."
In addition to the $25,000 rule, the government announced that people who are having trouble paying off their debt can also request smaller monthly payments — or have them suspended entirely. The developments came just months after Canada moved in August to increase the amount of grant money it gave to low- and middle-income students.
The measures will apply to the roughly 750,000 people making payments on their Canada Student Loans, according to the release.
Last year, the average student graduating with loans was on the hook for $26,819, according to the Canadian University Survey Consortium, a group of institutions that regularly polls students. About half of respondents said they were in debt upon leaving university, and 40 percent of them said they had government student loans.
Canada's tuition averages about $4,800 a year to the United States' $8,200, the Huffington Post reported. But students were still concerned.
"We're worried about one type of debt — student debt — and we want to know how to pay it off as quickly as possible," Dillon Collet, who attended the University of Toronto, told the National Post earlier this year. "A lot of students suffer silently."