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

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

City of Kelowna receives $100K provincial grant to support forestry workers

When the Kelowna Tolko mill shut down in November, 233 full-time employees were put out of work

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

Defence claims Surrey man was mentally unwell at time of West Kelowna murder

Tejwant Danjou’s jealousy ‘tormented him’, according to his defence lawyer

PPE donation reaches Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society

Ending Violence Association of BC received a $20,000 donation for personal protective equipment

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Suspicious activity on North Okanagan bike trails

A rock deliberately placed on a hazardous corner results in bolstered security, cameras

Most Read