Canada does not make the headlines all too often, but when it does, it must mean that something is large enough to grab the international spotlight. In recent years, the student loan debt problem has started to soar in Canada. It has rendered a lot of borrowers unable to attend school, thus making higher education unattainable. This is not good news and is quite depressing for many students who had plans to seek out a post-secondary education.

Fortunately for Canadian students, the debt problem in the US is much, much worse. Statistics Canada created a Survey of Financial Security and the survey revealed that the student loan debt grew 44.1 percent between the years 1999 and 2012. It also showed that a large chunk of that growth occurred between 2005 and 2012 with a 24.4 percent increase.

The situation is not one that is humbling as about one in every eight Canadian families carry some type of student loan debt with an average total of about $10,000. However, an updated 2016 analysis shows that Canadian students carry about $25,000 in student loan debt. Compared to the United States’ average of $30,000 or more, this may be a sign that the problem is reaching the point of crisis that it is in the U.S.

A Deeper Look into the Numbers

It's true that student loan debt is not a good thing and many students who attend college need to rely on it simply because college is expensive. Without making an education more affordable, students will continue to take out student loans and the debt average will continue to rise whether in Canada or in the US.

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In 2013-2014, it was revealed that Canadian students graduated college with about $12,500 in federal student loan debt. At first glance this number doesn’t seem to raise many eyebrows and the statistics may have been a way to mask the truth. In fact, that number does NOT include additional student loans such as private or provincial loans. Factor those in and you are looking at about $20,000 to $30,000 per student.

In 2015, a report showed that the average Canadian student would graduate college with about $26,819 in student loan debt. If that wasn’t bad enough, further studies were completed that showed students who needed to take out more loans were actually in a poorer state of mental health than other students/adults of the same age.

Final Thoughts on Student Loan Debt in Canada

Canadian students carry student loan debt, just like students in the US. The biggest difference is that Canadian students don't have as much debt as US students. In fact, as of 2016, the average amount of debt that a US student carried was $28,000. This shows that the US is in a more severe student loan situation, although Canada is quickly following along.

Whether Canada or the US, student loan debt needs to be handled, but there just doesn’t seem to be a way to efficiently take care of it without sacrificing the opportunity to receive a higher education.

Image Copyright Alex Indigo.

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