Transform Learning into Earning With the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) Program

Learn Today, Earn for the Future

LearnSmart works to empower Canadian youth and young adults to open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and apply for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). Open an RESP online in 10 minutes and access $500 up to $2000 of government funds, tailored to help pay for your post-secondary education.

What is the Canada Learning Bond?

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is a government benefit added to an RESP to help pay for your post-secondary education. This benefit offers students varying financial assistance starting with a minimum of $500, and can extend up to $2000 for each eligible recipient.

Why Registered Education Savings Plans?

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) helps to save for future education after high school.

With an RESP, you could receive various government grants and Canada Learning Bond benefits. That’s extra funding for school that you’re entitled to that you can only access when you have an RESP account. If you start early, even if you start small, that money has a chance to compound and grow over time!

Participants must be turning 18 on or after January 1, 2022 to apply. You can open your own RESP and apply for the CLB yourself below!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the benefits of the savings plans and bonds. Check out our answers to common questions!

Can I apply for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB)?

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Why should I go to post-secondary?

Unlock Your Earning Potential!

Post-secondary graduates earn more than those who did not continue their studies past high school.

Post-secondary school graduates earn higher salaries. Adults with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $1.2 million more during their careers than median for workers with a high school diploma.

Get hired

A college or university education makes it easier to get hired. Having a college certificate or diploma increases your chances of finding employment.
Education significantly increases a person’s likelihood of transitioning from unemployment to employment, relative to those who did not attend post-secondary school.

What happens to my RESP and CLB if I don’t go to post-secondary?

If you open an RESP but choose not to attend post-secondary education, you have options.


An RESP can be left open for up to 36 years. That means that you have time to decide if post-secondary education is right for you. Don’t forget that RESPs can support many post-secondary education programs including some trade and business schools, and apprenticeships. Leave your RESP open in case you decide to pursue post-secondary education a little bit later.

Close your RESP account

Closing your RESP account doesn’t have to be a headache! Just remember that while you can withdraw any contributions you’ve made over the years with no tax consequence, you must return CESG and CLB benefits to the Government of Canada. As for any investment growth, this portion will be taxed at your marginal tax rate, plus an additional 20%. How to close your Wealthsimple RESP. 

Empower someone else to use the RESP

If attending post-secondary school is not right for you, you can name another beneficiary (like a sibling,) to use the If available money for their education costs.

Note that there are some rules associated with changing an RESP beneficiary. To learn more, click here.

Does LearnSmart cost anything?

No. LearnSmart is a free program.

Can I apply for the Canada Learning Bond?

If you meet these criteria, you can apply for the CLB yourself:

  • Born on or after January 1st, 2004
  • Currently a resident of Canada
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (Social Insurance Number)
  • Qualify as low-income (less than $50,197/year) for at least 1 year in Canada between the age of 0-15 years old.
    • For a family with 4 children, low-income is less than $56,636.00
    • For a family with 5 children, low-income is less than $63,101.00

My family arrived in Canada after I turned 15. Can I still apply?

No. If you did not qualify as low-income for at least 1 year while a resident of Canada between the ages of 0-15, you cannot apply for the CLB.

What can my RESP funds be used for?

CLB funds can be used for school related expenses, like tuition, rent, and textbooks.

How does the CLB work?

  • The CLB is a savings tool for a specific child or young adult.
  • The CLB consists of 2 payments:
    • An initial payment of $500 for the first year the young adult is eligible; and
    • Subsequent CLB payments of $100 for each year that the young adult is eligible.
    • The CLB is payable up to and including the year in which the child turns 15.
    • The maximum lifetime CLB limit is $2,000.
    • The amount a CLB beneficiary receives is dependent on how many years the beneficiary meets the eligibility criteria.

Why is LearnSmart important?

  • As of January 1, 2022 a person can apply to open their own RESP.
  • This person is both the subscriber and beneficiary (they may apply for the CLB and may receive the funds themselves) and therefore applies for the CLB on their own behalf.

I was born before 2004. Can I still apply for the CLB and be eligible to receive the CLB for my post-secondary education?

No, to apply as a beneficiary and recipient of the CLB, it must opened by those who are born in 2004 or later.

I am a parent and want to open an RESP and the CLB for my children. Is LearnSmart for me?

Yes, LearnSmart can assist you with opening an RESP for your child or young adult under the age of 15. Please click any of the partner portals below to open an RESP with Wealthsimple Foundation and apply for the CLB.

I am a parent with multiple children. Do I qualify as low-income and how do I know what this means?

Table 1: Adjusted family income and eligibility for the CLB

Number of children Adjusted income level
1 to 3 Less than or equal to $50,197
4 Less than $56,636
5 Less than $63,101

For families with more than 5 children, call 1 800 O‑Canada (1-800-622-6232).

I don’t have a valid SIN number. Can I still apply?

A valid SIN number is required to apply for the CLB. If you do not have one, you can apply for a SIN number below.


If you apply online and everything is in order, your application will be processed within 5 business days from the date your application was received. If it has been more than 10 days since you applied online, and you have not received a letter by mail, please contact the SIN Program.

If your online or mailed-in application did not meet the requirements, you will get a letter containing guidance on what is required to obtain a SIN.

Where can I get further support?

What are RESP sign up events?

These LearnSmart Sign-Up Events are opportunities to open an RESP and apply for the CLB with support from LearnSmart partner agencies.

You may have heard about these sign-up events in a letter from Employment and Social Development Canada.

What is Wealthsimple Foundation?

What role does my bank (or financial institution) play in supporting me with the CLB?

Your bank:

  • Must help you to apply for the CLB should you inquire
  • Does not need a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency to open an RESP or apply for the CLB
  • Can’t charge you an application fee for opening the CLB because this cost is covered by the Government of Canada
  • Will probably open an RESP at no cost. Most banks do not charge for this.
  • Should know that people born on or after 2004 can retroactively apply to receive their CLB funds as an applicant and a beneficiary. If they don’t know, ask them to call the Canada Education Savings Plan hotline at 1-888-276-3624.
  • Knows that you must apply for the CLB before you turn 21.

How long does it take for the CLB money to be deposited into the RESP?

It typically takes up to 65 days for the Federal Government to deposit the money into the RESP account after the application has been submitted by the financial institution.

What if I’m not eligible. Will I be notified?

No, you will not be notified if your children are not eligible for the CLB. Families can also call the Canada Education Savings Program hotline at 1-888-276-3624 to inquire.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Canada Learning Bond Program


In partnership with:


Need help? Have questions about RESPs? We’re here for you.

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