Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Post-secondary students and grads owing thousands of dollars in student loans now have a bit of reprieve, with the B.C. government eliminating interest charges, effective immediately.

Finance Minister Carole James announced $318 million during the latest budget this week, saying the province anticipates students relying on loans will save a total of $22 million in interest payments per year.

Jordan Sawchuk, a biology student at Okanagan College in Kelowna, said money otherwise used for the interest rate will make all the difference once he graduates.

“It’s going to be a lot less stress once I get out of school to rush into a job. If the market’s a little bit tough, it’s going to be a lot of pressure off of me,” he said.

WATCH: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

“There’s absolutely more that can be done to ease the financial burden… Textbook prices are already high, but it’s a step.”

James Bahnke, a computer science student at the College, said it’s better than nothing.

“Just more money in your pocket down the road. You look at other countries and it’s terrible. I thought already it’s pretty good.”

Provincial student loans had been charged at the prime interest rate, roughly 4.5 per cent. The government estimates the average student owes $11,200 in debt upon graduation, on top of $17,000 in federal loan debt.

Going forward, students will pay roughly $2,300 less in their overall debt, based on a 10-year repayment period.

“Repaying student loans should not force people to put their lives on hold,” said Noah Berson chair of the Alliance of B.C. Students, which lobbied for the change. “After graduation, the focus should [be on] starting your life, saving to buy a home and having children, not being chained to student loan payments.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Budget 2019

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni Toy Run launches new fundraiser for 2020

Toy Run teddy bears will help replace funds lost due to COVID-19 changes

Missing Port Alberni man found deceased

47-year-old had been missing since late June: RCMP

Longtime volunteer retires from Port Alberni’s Abbeyfield House

Doreen Bissette honoured for two decades of volunteerism

Savard prevails with best gross score at Alberni Golf Club

Men’s club prepares for ‘waltz’ on July 12

EDITORIAL: We need to check our ‘plate hate’

Suspicious border activity can be reported

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Most Read