ACCC provides consumers with five useful tips on how to save for college and manage expenses
Boston, MA – May 29, 2018
With the cost of college continuing to rise and student loan debt higher than ever, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling is celebrating 529 College Savings Day on May 29th by providing consumers with useful and savvy tips on how to save for college.
“As the cost of college tuition continues to rise, it is more important than ever that students and families start saving for college sooner rather than later,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “College can be a transformational experience for a young person, but figuring out how to pay for it is often one of the most difficult challenges students and their parents face.”
A 529 plan is one of many options for families saving for college tuition. A 529 plan is an investment operated by an educational or state institution, with tax advantages and other incentives to make it easier to save for a child’s education. These accounts operate similarly to 401(k) plans and an IRA because they allow parents to save for their child’s education tax-free. There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and college savings plans, a form of investment planning. Prepaid tuition plans allow the consumer to prepay college expenses with the current rates and is beneficial should tuition rates rise in the future. The college savings plan allows consumers to invest in mutual funds, stocks or bonds to grow the initial investment.
According to The College Board, the average cost per year for public college in 2017-2018 is $9,970 for in-state and $25,620 for out of state tuition. The average cost per year for a private college is $35,740. The report also found that the average cost for room and board ranged from $10,800 at public institutions to $12,210 at private institutions.
In addition to starting a 529 College Savings Plan, American Consumer Credit Counseling offers five tips on how to save for college and manage expenses during school.
- Know your financial situation – Make sure you know how much school costs per year, what your parents will be covering, what you’re expected to cover, and the cost of living expenses.
- Consider a part-time job – While in school, consider a part-time job, tutoring, work-study programs or paid internships to earn a little extra money and start saving for post-graduation expenses.
- Utilize student discounts – Not only is your student ID necessary for life around campus, but it can also earn you discounts at hundreds of retailers. If you are not sure if a business offers a student discount, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Credit cards – Credit card companies often target college students because of their inexperience when it comes to money management skills. If you do sign up for a credit card, don’t get carried away and be sure to make all your payments on time.
- Create a budget – Knowing how to develop and manage a realistic budget is imperative for anyone preparing to go to college, in college, or those who have just graduated. To create a workable budget, use a budgeting worksheet to compare and contrast your total income and expenses.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, and student loan counseling call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit https://www.consumercredit.com/debt-resources-tools/