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RESP Basics

Saving for Education Is Easy With The Canada Learning Bond


Ever heard of the Canada Learning Bond (CLB)? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about CLB, from its significance to accessing it, and answer some common questions you may have along the way.

Understanding the Canada Learning Bond

The Canada Learning Bond is a government initiative designed to support children from lower-income families in their pursuit of saving for higher education with a Registered Education Plan (RESP). It provides financial assistance to eligible families, helping to alleviate the financial burden associated with educational expenses. If your family is eligible for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), you will receive a one-time initial payment of $500 to your child’s RESP with an additional $100 for each year of eligibility until your child reaches age 15.

We talk a lot about why investing in your child’s education with an RESP is so beneficial. However, the CLB is a unique benefit because eligible families can receive the CLB without contributing any money of their own.

Over time, this could add up to as much as $2,000 in grant money invested in your RESP, plus whatever income that investment generates over time. That is a great start to seeing your child successfully to a post-secondary education.

Benefits of the Canada Learning Bond

  • Financial Assistance for Education: CLB provides direct financial support, easing the financial burden of education.
  • Investment in Children’s Future: By investing in education savings, CLB contributes to long-term success and prosperity.
  • Impact on Long-term Educational Success: Access to education funding increases the likelihood of pursuing higher education, leading to greater opportunities in the future.

So how do you know if you qualify?

Eligibility for the Canada Learning Bond is dependent on your family income and the number of children you have. The chart below will help you determine whether you are eligible:

Number of children Adjusted net family income for the 2023-2024 benefit year
1 to 3 Less than or equal to $53,359
4 Less than $60,205
5 Less than $67,079

Required Documentation

To make sure your CLB application is processed smoothly, you or your RESP provider should have the following documents on hand:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) for the child and parent/guardian.
  • Birth certificate or citizenship documentation for the child.
  • Proof of income for the parent/guardian.

So when should you apply for CLB?

You have up until your beneficiary turns 18 to apply for the Canada Learning Bond, but the earlier you apply, the sooner the grant money will start to grow in an RESP.

Don’t worry if you’ve already set up an RESP , but didn’t apply for the CLB right away, you can still do so. Your child is eligible for the CLB starting the year that they were born, or became a Canadian resident. If you did not apply for the CLB right away, the Canadian Government will still make payments for the previous years. All you need to do is to apply!

How do you apply for a Canada Learning Bond?

To apply for a CLB follow these simple steps:

  1. If you haven’t already, register the birth/adoption of your child and apply for a birth certificate
  2. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) for the child. You can apply through this link for a SIN
  3. Speak to one of our Education Savings Specialists about setting up an Embark Student Plan with a CLB

Once we receive your completed forms, we will apply for the CLB on your behalf. When your CLB application is approved, all grants will automatically be added to your RESP.

We’re here to make setting up and managing your RESP as easy as possible!

Frequently Asked Questions about the CLB

How much money can I receive through the Canada Learning Bond?
Eligible children can receive up to $2,000, including an initial deposit of $500.

Can I apply for the Canada Learning Bond for multiple children?
Yes, CLB can be accessed for each eligible child in the family.

Do I need to repay the Canada Learning Bond?
No, CLB funds do not need to be repaid.

What happens to the Canada Learning Bond if my child doesn’t pursue post-secondary education?
The CLB funds can be transferred to other eligible beneficiaries, if they are a part of a family plan. You can find more information on what happens to your grant money and the contributed savings in an RESP if it is not used here.

Can I use the Canada Learning Bond for expenses other than education?
CLB funds are specifically designated to pay for educational expenses.

How can I track the growth of my Canada Learning Bond funds?
You can monitor how your CLB contributions, deposits you made, and your compound growth increase over time through your personal Embark Student Plan digital platform.

Written by Embark

Embark is Canada’s education savings and planning company. The organization aims to help families and students along their post-secondary journeys, giving them innovative tools and advice to take hold of their bright futures and succeed.