Hot! Student debt more than doubled in last 20 years

NationalPost.com – News
Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010.   Mark Iype, Postmedia News

Canadian university students are taking on higher debt loads than ever before, more than doubling the amount they borrowed 20 years ago, according to a new report from the Canadian Council on Learning.

According to the CCL, the average debt for a university graduate more than doubled between 1990 and 2000, rising to $24,706 from $12,271. By 2009, that number had risen to $26,680 for university graduates.

The CCL study analyzed the current and future impact of the Canada Student Loans Program on Canadian students.

“This report points to some of the long-term consequences of incurring large debts, sometimes involving postponement of milestones of life, like having children or owning a house. They can also impact choice of career, possibly to public detriment,” said CCL president Paul Cappon.

The report on debt-loads comes shortly after the announcement last month that the federal student loan program had reached its legislated maximum lending level of $15 billion.

The federal government amended the program, freeing up an additional $2 billion for the approximately 50,000 post-secondary students that headed back to school this month.

According to the CCL, 45 per cent of college graduates and six in 10 university graduates, have used student loans while in school.

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