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.

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

Kootnekoff: It’s my strata, and I’ll smoke if I want to (Part 2)

The final part of a legal battle between two strata residents and second-hand smoke

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

Iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen to exhibit work in Kelowna

Gruen’s portfolio includes John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, among many others.

School district monitoring McCurdy supportive housing plan debate

Top priority for board of education is to maintain safety integrity of local schools

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

Most Read