Overcoming parents’ skepticism about the CLB

It’s not unusual for organizations promoting the Canada Learning Bond to meet with some wariness when speaking to parents about Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). They may hear doubts about the CLB, about an RESP with no fees, or about how little time it takes to apply. Here’s information you can use to be ready to meet and overcome these concerns.

  • No such thing as FREE money?
    Parents can be skeptical when they hear the CLB described as free money. They simply don’t believe that no personal contribution is required to receive it. You can reassure them that it’s true! Here are some stories of real parents who have already received their child’s CLB. Or share a story about a parent you’ve worked with who got the CLB without spending a single dime!


  • Time worries?
    Some parents raise concerns that they don’t have time to open an RESP and apply for the CLB. Alleviate these concerns by making sure they know that SmartSAVER’s online application takes less than 10 minutes to complete and can be completed any time, day or night, on a desktop, a tablet, or even a Smartphone. They choose the financial institution they wish to work with and select the location and time that’s convenient for them to complete the paperwork.


  • Confused about RESPs?
    A recent study by the Federal government found that, while many families are aware of RESPs, fewer are familiar with the grants, like the Canada Learning Bond that are available to start and grow their savings. If a parent is not clear, or is relying on confused information about their RESP options, they may be hesitant to participate. However, this can result in them missing out on thousands of dollars for their child’s education. Encourage them to visit SmartSAVER.org to find clear, accurate information about RESPs and the Federal grants they could receive for their child’s account.


  • Don’t like dealing with banks or credit unions?
    Some parents are reluctant to work with a financial institution, for instance, if they have concerns about their other finances. Let them know that SmartSAVER helps to make their interaction simpler. SmartSAVER creates a warm introduction to a partner financial institution of their choice specifically to open an RESP and to apply for the CLB with no fees and with no contribution required – ever! And, remind parents that they don’t have to have or start a savings or chequing account to start an RESP.


  • Community-based agencies can help families get the CLB
    These are the most common hesitations I have encountered and they can be overcome with accurate information. The families you serve count on you to inform them of opportunities that are beneficial to them and their children. Don’t let the families you serve miss out on the Canada Learning Bond.


Have you heard other concerns? Contact me and let’s address them.

Joe March
Partnership Manager, SmartSAVER

This post is part two in a series from SmartSAVER’s Partnership Managers. Read Part 1: Community Partners are Key to CLB take-up.