Sometimes the hardest part of saving is getting started. That’s the thinking behind the Canada Learning Bond or CLB - a $500-$2,000 grant from the government to help pay for college, university or trades school.
If you’re eligible, you’ll unlock a minimum of $500. No catch - you’re entitled to this money. It will take 10 minutes to apply. If you’re a resident of Canada and from a modest income household, you can open and apply.
If you’re a parent… and you have a child, or children, born after 2003 and have a modest household income (< $50,197) you should apply!
If you’re 18… and you’re planning to go to school or are in school, and grew up in a modest income household, you can apply and retroactively unlock up to $2,000 for school!
What’s the big deal?
Why are we SO enthused about CLB? This is money that families and students are entitled to AND you do not need to contribute anything to get this funding.
We recognize that the Canadian Learning Bond (CLB) doesn’t solve the challenge of paying for school, but it can be a start.
Of families who open a Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP) and claimed their CLB, 97% end up contributing regularly. That’s pretty impressive.
Okay, I’m interested. Tell me more about how CLB works…
The bond works by depositing money for each eligible child into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). In the first year, the CLB deposits $500 per child and $100 per child every year until each child turns 15.
You can get a maximum of $2,000 per child BUT you need to have filed your taxes to get this money.
What can I use it for?
As long as you spend this money for school related expenses, tuition, rent, textbooks, those types of things, the student can take the money out of your account tax free, or at a pretty low tax rate assuming that you’re not working a part-time job that’s paying you the BIG $$$ just yet (there’s plenty of time to get there!)
How long can CLB stay in my account?
Life happens. Maybe you want to work part time and save up more for school, maybe you want to take some time to figure out what program is right for you, that’s totally fine. This money doesn’t need to be used right after graduation. An RESP, and any money in it, can stay open and available for 35 years.
The money can be kept in the account for 35 years, if no one ever goes to school, well, the government takes that CLB money back. BUT, any funds you deposited in the account are yours to keep.
A few other questions you might have:
Who is eligible?
Modest income families or students (< $50,197 a year) born in or after 2004, who have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). This changes depending on the number of kids in a family so be sure to check with the government if you’ve got more than three children in your famjam!
How do I know how much I can get?
You can get $500 for the first year and $100 for each year of eligibility, until the child turns 15. Just found out about CLB? You can also apply retroactively for past years and receive a lump sum deposit.
Okay, how do I apply if I’m a parent?
Open an RESP with your preferred financial institution. You’ll need your social insurance number (SIN), along with your child’s.
What about if I’m a student?
If you’re 18 you can open a RESP with your . You’ll need your social insurance number (SIN), along with one of your parents’ or guardians’ email if you’re living at home.
How long will it take to get this funding?
It takes on average 30 days after you apply to unlock your initial CLB funding. From there, your eligibility will automatically be assessed every year based on tax returns. You have until the day you, or your child, turns 21 to apply.