New rules for government student loans kick in today

New student loan repayment rules announced during Ottawa's spring federal budget kick in today, meaning graduates don't have to start repayments until they earn at least $25,000 a year.

Families of 5 or more people won't have to start repaying until they earn $67,825

Under new rules in effect starting today (Nov. 1), no student will be asked to start repaying their government student loan until they earn at least $25,000 a year. (Getty Images)

New student loan repayment rules announced during Ottawa's spring federal budget kick in today, meaning graduates don't have to start repayments until they earn at least $25,000 a year.

Under the old rules, single people had to start paying back Canada Student Loans once they earned $20,210 a year. 

For families of five or more people, the cut-off is now $67,825. 

Official figures show three-quarters of a million Canadians had student loans from the federal government during the 2013-2014 school year.

As well, "borrowers who are having difficulty making their monthly Canada Student Loan payments can apply for help through the Repayment Assistance Plan," Employment and Social Development Canada said Monday. 

"Depending on their financial situation — such as their income and family size — borrowers can get approved for a reduced monthly payment on their Canada Student Loan, or for no monthly payment at all."

Ottawa also beefed up the amount it has available for student grants that don't have to be repaid, by more than $1.5 billion over the next five years. In practice, that means an increase of as much as 50 per cent for certain grants:

  • From $2,000 to $3,000 per year for full-time students from low-income families.
  • From $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families. 
  • From $1,200 to $1,800 per year for part-time students from low-income families.

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