Credit unions facilitate training grants

Registered Education Savings Plan holders may apply

The provincial government’s new $1,200 education and training grants are now available from credit unions around the province.

Williams Lake and District Credit Union (WLDCU) financial service supervisor Shannon Nantel says the one-time grant is available for any child born in 2007 or later whose parents apply for, or already have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) set up for them.

They must apply for the grant within three years after the child turns six years old, up to or until the day before the child’s ninth birthday, she explains.

Nantel adds no additional deposits or matching funds are required to be eligible for this grant, which is deposited to an RESP account upon approval of the application.

However, most RESPs have other applicable grants, some of which require parental funds to be deposited, she notes.

Nantel says parents with more than one child should consider setting up a family RESP that requires all siblings listed as beneficiaries, providing the custodial parent(s) and beneficiaries are all British Columbia residents.

The money can gather interest without taxation in an open RESP for up to 36 years, and can be used by any beneficiary listed if the primary person does not use it for education funding.

“That’s why, if you have [more than one child], it’s great to open a family RESP … if after that time nobody uses it, you get your money back that you contributed, but all the grants go back [to government].”

The WLDCU is contacting all its customers with RESPs about the opportunity, as it won’t happen automatically, she explains.

“If you are an RESP holder, you must come in and apply for the grant.”

Nantel adds for setting up an RESP and/or applying for the education and training grant, no appointments are needed or accepted, so folks can walk into the branch and ask for assistance anytime.

For more information on eligibility, call 1-888-276-3624 or visit the website www.gov.bc.ca/BCTESG.