Personal Debt Among Students and Grandparents a Rising Concern


WINNIPEG, MB. – The federal government is writing off $178 million in student debt again this year.

Moreover, in 2016, the Trudeau government declared that students do not have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they’re earning at least $25,000 per year. Average student debt was $26,819 in 2017.

In the United States, it’s the baby boomers that are now faced with helping pay off their kids’ college debt. About 2.8 million people age 60 and older have outstanding student loans. In the past decade, for the 60 to 64 age group, student-loan debt has increased eight-fold – to $38 billion.

In Manitoba, student debt for most is a comparably small burden after graduation. That’s a good thing because millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – make up a quarter of the population in Winnipeg. Nevertheless, this sector also constitutes a large proportion of bankruptcy applications in Manitoba. The reason? Payday loans.

This generation is used to having what it wants when it wants it and their attitudes about paying on credit were learned from their parents, the Gen-Xers, of whom 60 percent are worried about their debt burden today.

More and more millennials are applying for bankruptcy, especially in Ontario, as a result of payday loans.

Tuition fees in Manitoba averaged $11,869per year in 2015. Canadian tax law currently allows a student, 17 or older, to transfer about $5,000 in tax credits on to a parent or grandparent.

Dorothy Dobbie, The Manitoba Post

File photo