The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that they are enhancing the Repayment Assistance Plan to help address the rising cost of living for student borrowers.
On Nov. 1, the Saskatchewan Student Aid Program and Canada Student Financial Assistance Program are introducing enhancements that will improve affordability of student loan repayment and streamline repayment processes.
“This needs-based program will continue to support many Saskatchewan students as they transition to their professional lives,” Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “These changes will make student loan repayment more affordable and help improve the quality of life for many of our Saskatchewan student borrowers.”
According to the provincial government, enhancements to the Repayment Assistance Plan will make repayment more affordable for approximately 4,000 Saskatchewan student borrowers annually.
Not only are they increasing the zero-payment threshold for single borrowers from $25,000 to $40,000, but they are also aligning repayment income thresholds for larger households with the Canada Student Grant income thresholds, adjusting repayment income thresholds annually to account for inflation, and reducing the monthly student loan payment cap from 20 per cent of a borrower’s family income to 10 per cent.
Introduced in 2009, the Repayment Assistance Plan is targeted at low-income borrowers in Saskatchewan. Eligible applicants may qualify for reduced payments or no payments at all. Through this program, the province mitigates student loan defaults and provides financial assistance to the student borrowers who need it the most.
Saskatchewan is one of five provinces introducing increased Repayment Assistance Plan thresholds this year, said a media release from the provincial government.
In 2022, the Government of Saskatchewan will provide over $102.6 million in financial assistance to more than 20,000 students. Students can apply for a number of government supports, including scholarships, bursaries and grants, and may also be eligible for the Graduate Retention Program, which provides up to $20,000 in income tax rebates to those who live and work in Saskatchewan after graduation.