Canada may sound appealing to countless U.S. citizens already fed up with the policies of President Donald Trump, but Canada does share one problem with the United States: student loan debt.
As of 2012, Canada collectively owed $28.3 billion in student loan debt, which pales in comparison to the U.S., where the nation collectively owes more than $1.3 trillion in student debt. Though the outstanding debt might not be nearly as high, it is a growing problem for Canadians.
According to a report in Vice, depending on where the location, Canadian students may owe as much as $40,000 in student loan debt, on average. In the U.S., the average student loan amount for borrowers stands at $28,400, impacting over 43 million Americans.
Take Atlantic Canada, or the part of the country that makes up the four provinces on the Atlantic coast, for starters. According to the report, students in that area have some of the highest levels of student debt at the undergraduate level. As of 2010, the latest available numbers, students in that region left school with debt that was close to $40,000. That likely increased even more during the last seven years as the cost of a college degree has gone up.
In British Columbia, the amount of student loan debt has risen by $12,000 per borrower, on average, since 2000.
In Ontario, where students pay the most on average for tuition to attend a college or university, the amount borrowers owed remained in the middle as compared to other parts of Canada. The average student loan debt per borrower in Ontario came in around $27,000 in 2010.
Just like in the U.S., the student loan debt problem has a lot to do with the rising costs of tuition and the fact that many borrowers take out student loans without giving full thought to the impact their borrowing will have on their financial futures.
Donna Mihalcheon, a senior VP at BDO Debt Solutions, a Canadian debt relief company, said in the Vice report that the debt problem is made worse because students are struggling with living expenses while in school because no money is coming in while they earn their degree. What’s more, she said students often make bad choices when it comes to borrowing money for college. She said many borrowers take out loans and don’t give them another thought until it’s time to pay them back. At that point, the borrower is often shocked to learn how much they owe.
The same problems exist with many student loan borrowers in the U.S. today.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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