“Charging interest on student loans forces those who need student loans to pay more for their education than someone who could afford to pay tuition up front. It is essentially a tax on low and middle income students and families.
Five provincial governments have eliminated interest on the provincial portion of student loans. There has also been a reduction in federal student loan interest rates and a freeze on accrued interest on student loans for the year 2021-2022.
Beauchamp suggests that when the federal government issued a moratorium on student loan payments and accrued interest at the start of the pandemic, they and the parties supporting them clearly recognized the heavy burden of student debt on recent graduates.
“Students and young people have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic recovery will take several years; to support recent and future graduates, the federal government should permanently eliminate the interest charged on student loans.
Borrowers typically take nine to 15 years to fully repay their loan, Beauchamp says, adding that the interest charges on student loans are currently holding back those most eager to participate in the economy.
Beauchamp says post-secondary education will be a powerful engine that will bring post-pandemic stability to the country.
“Eliminating interest on student loans would help ensure that those who have to go back to school for retraining in order to restart our economy are not penalized for doing so. “
Students across the country are hosting a week-long eliminatory interest action week Feb. 8-12 to draw attention to their call. The campaign has an online action tool where supporters are encouraged to send an email with a personal message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and their local MP.