eWENR, September/October 1999: The Americas


Tuition fees for college have escalated almost 90 percent since 1990, forcing many students in Canada to rely heavily on student loans with which to finance their education. The average debt load per student is now somewhere around $25,000.

Student loans in Canada are backed by the government, and awards are based on demonstrated financial need. But even when students take out the maximum loan of $9,000 a year, they find that they still do not have enough money to cover all their expenses while in school. Hence, more and more students are turning to banks and credit-card companies to help pay for tuition, miscellaneous fees and living expenses.

The Canadian Federation of Students has condemned this practice and urges students to be wary of credit cards in particular.

Financial institutions have invaded campuses around the country in recent years, offering students credit cards that carry steep interest rates. Many of these students, who have little or no form of income, end up getting into terrible debt with credit card companies. Default on a payment can seriously damage a person