What is The Canada Learning Bond (CLB)?

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is free money provided by the government to lower-income families to assist them in saving for their kid’s future education after high school.

It is associated with the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and other well-known government educational grants i.e. the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and additional CESG.

The RESP is a government registered savings plan that helps parents to save for their child’s post-secondary education in Canada. I discussed the RESP in detail here.

Canada Learning Bond Eligibility

Your child is eligible to receive the CLB if:

  • Your child was born in 2004 or later; and,
  • You have the required documents including social insurance numbers (you and your kid’s), birth certificate, and permanent resident cards (if not a Canadian citizen); and,
  • You have an RESP account open on behalf of the child; and,
  • Your family’s adjusted net income meets the criteria set by the government. For the July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, benefit year, adjusted net income for CLB eligibility is as follows:
Number of ChildrenAdjusted Net Family Income 2020
1 to 3Less than or equal to $48,535
4Less than $54,764
5Less than $61,016
6Less than $67,268
7Less than $73,521
8Less than $79,773
9Less than $86,025

For families with more than 9 kids, check out the eligibility formula and criteria here.

How Much Can You Expect From the Canada Learning Bond?

You can get up to a lifetime maximum of $2,000 in Canada Learning Bonds per child. Initially, when the RESP is open, the government deposits $500 and this is then followed by an additional $100 per year until the child turns 15 years old (if you remain eligible).

You could also be eligible for an additional $25 to cover the cost of opening the RESP.

Applying for the CLB

If you meet all the eligibility requirements above and complete the required CLB documents when opening your child’s RESP, your Canada Learning Bond will be deposited directly into the RESP account. If in doubt as to whether you have received (or are receiving) the CLB, ask your RESP provider.

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

CLB Eligible Post-Secondary Education

RESP funds (including Canada Learning Bonds) can only be used for educational programs in a “Qualifying Educational Institution.” This could be a college, university, trade/vocational/technical school, or apprenticeship program.

If your child decides not to pursue post-secondary education, funds provided through the CLB are returned to the government. For more information on the CLB, call 1-800-622-6232.

Conclusion

The Canada Learning Bond is a great opportunity for lower-income families to start saving for their kid’s future post-secondary education.

Unlike the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), you do not need to make contributions to your child’s RESP account to receive the CLB.

Consider the CLB as seed money which if well-nurtured (i.e. by adding time, compound interest and additional contributions), can grow into a significant amount and make higher education more affordable for your kids!

Note: If you choose to go use TD e-Series funds for your child’s RESP, you may not be able to receive the CLB in your account. Remember to clarify with your TD investment advisor if there will be a problem.

Here are some RESP investment options.

Related Posts: 

How are you investing your child’s RESP? Let us know in the comments.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

1 thought on “What is The Canada Learning Bond (CLB)?”

  1. If I was not eligible for CLB when the RESP was opened but now am, will the government spontaneously pay the CLB to an already established RESP? Or are there steps I need to take now?

    Also, do you know in which month of the year they check for changes in CLB eligibility?

    For example, I made considerably less money this past year than previously and I don’t know when to make my RESP contribution; I want to be eligible for enhanced CESG and CLB (and I should be eligible now given my 2020 income), but I don’t know if they would use my 2020 income data if I were to contribute now. Can I contribute as soon as I get my notice of assessment, or oerhaps I should wait until July, as that is when they update CCB and maybe they will update CLB eligibility at the same time?

    Reply
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