If you have children, then odds are you’ve thought of the future expense of college. My kids are 10 and under, and it seems like I have plenty of time, but in reality I need to come up with a LOT of money starting in just 8 short years!
In 8 years, my oldest will head off to college, and then 6 years after that this guy will be ready to go. Say it isn’t so! He’s my BABY!!! 🙁 He still sleeps with dinosaurs, for goodness sake!
But I have to be practical. So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the best way to save up for college because I know the days are long, but the years truly are short. We will be there before we know it.
There are a few avenues to pay the way. We all hope our kids are geniuses or athletic and get a good scholarship (it happens). But realistically, we should be a little more prepared than wishing and hoping for a scholarship that covers all college expenses. 🙂
For parents that like to be prepared, there are 529 plans, money market and savings accounts, to name a few options. I’m a saver at heart, so my husband and I have set up money market accounts to sock away money for college. But we know based on the rising cost of secondary education that these accounts won’t have enough money in them to send our children to college all the way through. We are 100% prepared to take out student loans on their behalf.
When you have more than one child to send to college, even with a solid savings plan in place, the rising price of college makes it difficult for the average family to save up the entire cost of secondary education before their children head off to college. If you haven’t been able to save up the entire amount and the deadline is near, one option is a loan. It isn’t quite as scary as it sounds.
I recently learned about a company called College Ave Student Loans, which offers loans with no origination fees and lower fixed interest rates than the federal program on parent loans. According to College Ave, they offer qualified parent borrowers an average savings of $1,000 vs. the Federal Direct Parent Plus program.
Their loans can be tailored to fit your needs, including flexible payment terms. I personally like the fact that I can choose between paying off the loan right away or custom payment terms from 5 – 12 years. I don’t know exactly which option I’ll need when the time comes, so a variety of payment plans sounds great to me.
On the College Ave Student Loans website, you can project payoff amounts and dates as well as itemizes the expenses so you can get a clearer picture of what to expect. This makes budgeting for those expenses easier, taking a little mystery out of the process. Mystery and money are two m’s that don’t belong together.
There are a couple of things I really like about College Avenue Student Loans in addition to the flexible repayment terms:
- Loan Management – As a parent I can assist with managing a portion of my child’s loan for them (since we all know teens rarely have a grasp on actual finance know-how). I can choose the option to get up to $2,500 deposited into my bank account to put toward educational expenses like books or dorm supplies. That would come in handy.
- Easy of Use – The College Ave website is simple to understand and easy to navigate. They make it easy to find out how much in loans you can get using the student loans qualification tool. This simplicity takes the frustration out of the process. If you have ever applied for any type of loan before, then you know how difficult these tags can be. Check out the tools for yourself it see how easy.
For a limited time, College Ave has partnered with Experian® to offer a complimentary credit health check (a personalized credit education session with an Experian Credit EducatorSM agent) to families preparing for college. This entails a 35-minute phone call for in-depth, one-on-one assistance with reading and understanding their credit report and insights for future credit management decisions.
Below are the loan options you’ll see when you go to the College Ave Student Loans homepage. I like how you can go directly to the type you need, including the student loans parent page.
I recommend you check out the College Ave Student Loans website if you have a child coming up on college age. If nothing else, you’ll get a clearer picture of the costs associated with college to prepare better, and you’ll be able to compare your findings to any other info you may already have. I read that they have flexible private parent loan options, so it’s worth checking out.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.