With college costs increasing at twice the rate of inflation, it is important to start saving early. Interest working for you now in a regular savings program is much better than having interest work against you in the future in the form of education loans.
When you borrow money for college you might not be thinking about your ability to repay the loan once you graduate. Outstanding student loan balances may infringe upon your ability to qualify for a home, auto and other personal loans.
Tax-deferral can have a dramatic effect on the growth of an investment. With the new Coverdell ESA (formerly known as the Education IRA) your contributions can grow tax-deferred and distributed income tax-free as long as distributions are used for qualified education expenses. These costs can include school uniforms, computers, and transportation for elementary or secondary school, public, private or religious.
Tax-deferral can have a dramatic effect on the growth of an investment. With a state-sponsored 529 College Savings Plan your contributions can grow tax-deferred (some states allow contributions to be partially or completely deductible) and distributed income tax-free as long as distributions are used for qualified education expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board at higher education institutions.
PLUS loans are low-interest federally insured loans for parents of undergraduate students to help pay a dependent student's college cost. PLUS loans are also available to graduate and professional students.
Before deciding on room and board options when attending college, it may help to itemize and project expenses. These expenses will vary depending on whether you will commute from home, stay on campus or rent an apartment off campus.
When saving for college, compound interest can be your friend. However the longer you wait to start saving the less interest you will accumulate and the more you will have to save.
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