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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Registered Education Savings Plan?

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a type of investment account for post-secondary education costs. RESPs can be opened at any financial institution (like a bank or credit union) for free. You need to have a RESP opened to access the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) & the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). No contributions needs to be made by you to access the CLB but you do need to make contributions in order to access the CESG (More details here: Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) – About the grant).

The RESP can stay open for 35 years after opening, so there is no rush to use the money. 

More information can be found here: Information about Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs)

What can the Canada Learning Bond be used for?

- College/university tuition
- Trades/apprenticeship tuition
- Professional training
- Computer training
- Technology for school
- Other student fees
- Textbooks
- Transportation costs
- Room and board

How do I use the money when I am ready for school? 

- Once enrolled in education after high school, provide proof of enrollment to the financial institution. Proof of enrollment can be obtained from school or program.
- Financial institution releases requested amount into a bank account. 

Some financial institutions may provide a list of allowable expenses or require receipts of purchases to confirm CLB money is being spent on allowable expenses.

What happens if I never use the money?

- CLB (and any other grants) would be returned to the Government of Canada
- Any additional contributions would go back to the subscriber of the RESP

Are newcomers eligible?

Yes! As long as families & youth meet the CLB eligibility requirements. Newcomer families must be considered "residents of Canada" for tax purposes, meaning they have filed taxes at least once in Canada & are receiving the Canada Child Benefit.

I am in Child & Family Services care, what do I need to know?

All youth in care are eligible for the Canada Learning Bond. Whoever is considered the legal guardian must open the RESP on your behalf if you are under 18 - in some cases this may be the CFS agency. Once you turn 18, you are able to open the RESP on your own. More details here.

What do I need to do to get started if I am under 18?
Ask your social worker or legal guardian to open an RESP for you and apply for the Canada Learning Bond on your behalf. If they need more information, they can connect with us! You can also send this resource: Registered Education Savings Plans & Education Savings Incentives for Children in Care

What happens if I claim the CLB and then I age out of care / return to my family / adopted or legal change in guardianship?
Three options: 
1) Keep the RESP open
CFS can keep the RESP open and continue to manage the money. If you maintain contact with CFS, the assets can be used to fund education after high school. You would just need to provide proof of enrolment to the financial institute once you go to post-secondary education.
2) Transfer the funds to a new RESP
You can open a new RESP (by yourself if you are now 18, or ask parents/legal guardians to open it) and the CLB can be transferred to your new RESP.
3) Close the RESP
Any CLB in the RESP is returned to Government of Canada

Can CFS keep the Canada Learning Bond?
No. The CLB can only be accessed by the beneficiary of the RESP. The beneficiary is the youth who is listed as the person who will receive the money for post-secondary school.

I already opened an RESP, how do I find out if I have accessed the Canada Learning Bond?

You can either check with your financial institution (whoever you opened the RESP with) or call CRA to see if you have accessed the Canada Learning Bond or Canada Education Savings Grant.