How to finance your child’s private K-12 education

A personal loan could help you pay for your child's K-12 private school tuition.

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Sending your child to a private school can open up a world of opportunity. However, private education can be expensive, with tuition ranging from $4,000 to $50,000 (or more!) a year. Unlike post-secondary tuition, you won’t be able to finance private K-12 schools with a traditional student loan, but this doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can still finance your child’s education with other types of loans.

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How can I finance my child’s private K-12 education?

There are a few ways you can finance private K-12 education, and many of these can be combined to help ease the strain on your budget when it’s time to pay the tuition bill.

Compare online personal loans

Name Product Interest Rate Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Fees Min. Credit Score
Fairstone Personal Loan (Unsecured)
26.99% - 39.99%
$20,000
6 months - 5 years
None
560
Fairstone offers unsecured personal loans up to $20,000
Cash Money Installment Loan
46.93%
$10,000
6 months - 5 years
Vary across provinces/territories
560
Cash Money offers installment loans up to $10,000 for AB, MB and NB residents.
LendDirect Personal Loan
19.99% - 46.93%
$15,000
No end dates
None
560
Borrow up to $15,000, based on your income and credit history, with a personal line of credit from LendDirect.
LendingMate Personal Loan
43% (British Columbia and Ontario) and 34.90% (Quebec)
$10,000
1-5 years
None
700
LendingMate offers loans to Canadians with poor credit with no credit checks. Guarantor required for application.
Fairstone Personal Loan (Secured)
19.99% - 23.99%
$35,000
3-10 years
Varies by province
560
Fairstone offers secured personal loans up to $35,000.
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Representative example: Jack goes to private school

Jack is entering his last year at his private school. His parents need to pay his full year of tuition, which costs $19,000.00. Unfortunately, Jack’s mother lost her job, so they’re really tight on money at the moment. She is actively looking for work, but thinks she might be out of work for another three months at least. While Jack’s parents could transfer him to a public school, they really want to keep him in his prestigious private school for his last year. Since they’ve got $9,000.00 in available savings to cover some of the tuition, his parents decide to take out a personal loan for $10,000.00 to cover the rest. With excellent credit scores well above 800, Jacks parents are offered a personal loan from their bank for the full amount at a competitive interest rate of 5.00%.

Cost of tuition$19,000.00
Loan typePersonal loan
Loan amount$10,000.00
Interest rate5.00%
Loan term2 years
Additional feesOrigination fee of 3.00% ($300.00)
Monthly payment $438.71
Total loan cost$10,729.13

*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.

How much does private K-12 education cost?

In Canada, the cost of private K-12 tuition sits between $4,000 to $50,000 (and sometimes higher) a year. Elementary years tend to be more affordable, with average costs sitting between $4,000 to $8,000, while many private high schools range between $6,000 to $12,000. Prestigious K-12 private schools can cost between $40,000 to $50,000 a year.

Keep in mind costs will vary depending on your location as well. Metropolitan cities like Vancouver and Toronto tend to have much higher private school tuition rates than rural or northern communities. Religious private schools also tend to have lower tuition rates than non-religious private schools.

However, your expenses won’t end there. You’ll also need to budget for common costs that can quickly add up, including:

  • Textbooks, books and e-books
  • School uniforms
  • School supplies like paper, pens and pencils
  • A laptop, tablet or other computer for homework
  • Living and meal arrangements, if your child attends boarding school
  • Transportation costs

What you’ll need to apply for a loan

If you’ve decided that a personal loan is the right choice to finance your child’s private school tuition, make the process easier by comparing lenders and gathering the necessary documents before you apply.

You will usually need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of your identity and contact details
  • Proof of your citizenship or residency status
  • Proof of income, assets and debts
  • Documents that explain the purpose of your loan

Eligibility requirements vary between lenders but usually include:

  • Be 18 years of age or the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
  • Have proof of a steady income
  • Meet any credit score and minimum income requirements
  • Have a working bank account
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio lower than 43%

Bottom line

Private schools are a worthwhile investment, but they can be quite expensive. If you’re unable to cover the full amount of tuition and related expenses on your own, you do have options that can help ease the strain on your budget.

To learn more about personal loans, read our guide so you can make an informed decision about how to finance your child’s K-12 private education.

Frequently asked questions

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