Managing Education Costs and Loans

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Managing Education Costs and Loans

Top-tier private college degree can cost up to $250k. There are ways to save up for a big investment like this, but it takes knowledge, discipline and consistency. Widely talked of 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. 529 plans, legally known as ‘qualified tuition plans’ are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions.

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans. All fifty states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least one type of 529 plan. In addition, a group of private colleges and universities sponsor a prepaid tuition plan. First option is a Prepaid Tuition Plan that lets a saver or account holder purchase units or credits at participating colleges and universities (usually public and in-state) for future tuition and mandatory fees at current prices for the beneficiary. Prepaid tuition plans usually cannot be used to pay for future room and board at colleges and universities and do not allow you to prepay for tuition for elementary and secondary schools.

Second type is Education Savings Plan where a saver opens an investment account to save for the beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expenses – tuition, mandatory fees and room and board. Withdrawals from education savings plan accounts can generally be used at any college or university, including sometimes at non-U.S. colleges and universities. Education savings plans can also be used to pay up to $10,000 per year per beneficiary for tuition at any public, private or religious elementary or secondary school.

If you are not backed by an exemplary planning and saving, you will graduate with student loans which are one of the largest categories of debt held in the United States. At over $1.27 trillion in aggregate and an average US household due of $47k, student debt can stifle your post-college economic existence. Federal student loans are offered by the government at a relatively low interest rate along with a number of government mandated protections. These include deferment options because of economic hardships. Private loans offered by banks typically have less protections. We offer guidance and support in helping you seek better repayment terms for your student loans if you are having difficulties repaying them. We can assist you enroll in several programs that are meant to ease the burden of student loan repayment. For private student loans, we help you work with your bank or independent advisors renegotiate loan terms. Our expertise can be the difference between your being current with your bills or drowning in debt.

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