With higher education expenses galloping far ahead of inflation, parents at all income levels are finding it difficult to help out with their kids’ college education. If you’re one of many parents whose savings is coming up short, even with a 529 Savings Plan, a Coverdell, or other education-specific plan in place, you may be considering other options to cover the expense gap, including taking out a loan or dipping into retirement accounts.
Before going either route, be sure to fully explore the options available to your family, including potential grants, financial aid, work study programs and employer-provided education assistance programs. And if it’s too late to apply or your child won’t qualify for financial aid, your family may still qualify for one of the tax credits or deductions currently available. While these education-related tax credits won’t necessarily help every family due to limitations and income level phase-outs, they are worth exploring if you’re new to the education funding process.
If you want to explore using retirement savings or private loans to help close the funding gap, here is an overview of the available options in those areas.