What is the CLB?
The Canada Learning Bond is money the Federal government adds to an RESP to help low-income families save for post-secondary education.
This money can be used to help pay for part- or full-time studies at an eligible educational institutionOpens a new website in a new window, such as:
- Trade school
- An apprenticeship
- Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEPs)
The government contributes $500 for the first year of eligibility and a further $100 each year your child is eligible, up to and including the benefit year they turn 15. In total, the government will contribute up to a maximum of $2,000 per eligible child.
Eligibility for the CLB
If you’re the primary caregiver, the spouse or common-law partner of the child’s primary caregiver, you can apply to receive the CLB on behalf of an eligible child. Although the CLB is paid into an RESP, you don’t need to be contributing to be able to receive it. Instead, eligibility is based on the number of children in your familyOpens a new website in a new window, as well as your household income.
A child is eligible if they are:
- From a low-income family
- A resident of Canada
- Born on or after January 1, 2004
- Named in an RESP
Children in care are also eligible for the CLB, in addition to Children’s Special Allowances (CSA)Opens a new website in a new window.
Applying for the CLB
You can apply through the Government of Canada. Before you do, you’ll need to ensure that you have:
- Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) — You’ll need to provide your child’s SIN number as well as your own.
- An open RESP — If you don’t already have an RESP, you’ll need to open an account before you can request the CLB.
Note that you don’t need an open bank account in order to apply. Once your application is approved, the CLB will be deposited directly in your RESP for every year your child is eligible.
Closing an RESP
An RESP can stay open until the end of its 35th year.
By this time, the money saved must be used or transferred to another eligible savings product, or the fund must be closed. It may be that your child doesn’t want to go to college or university, in which case the CLB and the Canada Education Savings Grant (CSG) are returned to the Government.
If you didn’t use the funds to pay for post-secondary education, you’ll need to look into your options when it comes to the rest of the money saved, as well as what happens to any accumulated interest earned on an RESP, too.