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

Aftershock soccer tournament takes over Port Hardy fields

Around the clock matches were played in divisions ranging from tots to U18.

Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre’s 2018-2019 graduating class

The Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre is located on the Tsulquate reserve in the North Island.

Skin deep: A look inside the ink behind Beacon Tattoo

Patrick Berube, owner of Beacon Tattoo, spends most of his Tuesdays at… Continue reading

Second recreational cannabis shop opens its doors in Port Hardy

Pacificanna owner Darren Saunders was excited to finally see his family-run business open up shop.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A lone crow landing beside an eagle

“I saw an eagle just sitting there, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be there long as I got closer”

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

Nanaimo man gets jail time for posting explicit photos of ex-girlfriends

Man’s name cannot be revealed to protect victims’ identities

North Island thrift store robbed at knifepoint, say RCMP

Suspect fled on bicycle following Tuesday stick-up

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

UPDATE: RCMP arrest second person in North Island arson investigation

Police say suspects identified, house fire ‘not random’

Most Read