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March 01, 2022

Student debt loads continue to increase: StatsCan

Students are graduating from post-secondary institutions saddled with debt and are taking much longer to become financially self-sufficient.  

The proportion of students with heavy debt loads of $25,000 or more rose to 27%, up from 17% in 1995, according to the most recent Statistics Canada data. 

This is hampering recent graduates when it comes to saving for the future and, in some cases, is also forcing their baby-boomer parents to postpone their own retirements. 

7% of graduates are saddled with student loans, up from 49% a decade earlier, StatsCan says. Average student debt upon graduation rose to $18,800 from $15,200, and the proportion of borrowers who graduated with debt loads of at least $25,000 increased to 27% from 17%.

And it doesn’t get much better from there — at least not in a hurry. The average assets of postsecondary graduates aged 20 to 29 who had borrowed money was $60,700, compared with $106,300 for those who hadn’t taken out loans.

Student-loan borrowers could only lay claim to an average net worth of $17,500 — less than a third of the $61,900 average for those with no loan. 

This goes a long way to explaining why more than 60% of baby-boomer parents admit to providing roughly $3,700 a year in financial support to their adult kids. And why they don’t see things changing anytime soon.

While the majority of baby boomers claim they were financially self-supporting by the time they were 21, they don’t expect their children to achieve the same goal until at least 25.

Are you still strapped with student debt? Are your parents helping you over the hump?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...