Ottawa writes off $300 M in uncollected student loans

February 23, 2015

The federal government has written off $295 M in uncollected debt from 63,450 Canada Student Loans. This brings the total student loan debt written off by the government to more than $837 M over the last 3 years. A document tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday stated that "amounts being written off are for debts for which reasonable efforts to collect the amounts owed have been unsuccessful. The vast majority of these are debts of borrowers who defaulted in repayment in 2008 or earlier." Data show that 87% of Canada Student Loans are repaid; however, this latest announcement has prompted some to call for Ottawa to change its approach to funding students. According to Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, the write-offs demonstrate the need for Ottawa to offer more grants to low-income families. Employment and Social Development Canada said that federal student loan default rates are at an all-time low. Globe and Mail | National Post