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June 5, 2011 / Raffy Pekson II

Two Million Canadians Have Student Debt Loans Worth $20-billion

Photo by cfsontario at Flickr.com

Nearly two million Canadians have student loans. That debt is worth about $20-billion and includes federal and provincial government loans and personal debt in the form of credit cards, family loans and lines of credit all used to finance post-secondary education. And that number is only set to grow as student loans owed to the government of Canada alone increase by $1.2-million a day. At the same time, the amount of unrecoverable student loan debt now sits at $149.5-million.

Part of the problem is the dramatic increase in tuition fees, which have jumped to an average of $4,724 in 2008-09 from $2,591 in 1999. This doesn’t bode well for young people financing post-secondary education. Borrowing rates have already increased to 57% in 2005 from 49% in 1995. This is set to grow as a tough job market means more young people are opting out of the workforce and staying in school.

In the meantime, the number of young people with debt loads of $25,000 or more when they leave university and college is also on the rise, sitting at 27%, up from 17% in 1995. By 2009, the average debt for university graduates was $26,680.

To read more, go to the Financial Post

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