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Access to educational funding gets easier

Meridian (264,000 members, $9.5 billion in assets) and Vancity (501,000 members, $12.5 billion in assets) have put their support behind SmartSAVER.

The new initiative helps lower-income families open RESPs and access the Canada Learning Bond through an online form that walks them through the process.

The two credit unions, together with BMO, RBC Royal Bank, TD and Scotiabank, have agreed to allow families to set up an RESP, even with $0 in the account.

1.4 million

The number of children in Canada who are eligible for the Canada Learning Bond but don’t have it

“While more than 600,000 Canadian children already benefit from the Canada Learning Bond, another 1.4 million children who are eligible don’t have it yet, largely because their parents don’t know about it or don’t know how to get it,” said May Wong, Executive Director of the Omega Foundation.

SmartSAVER is a program of the Omega Foundation, which develops and supports initiatives that promote financial self-sufficiency and financial literacy of low-income families.