Parents, Know your Education Funding Options.

By: Thomas Hunter

When you are sending your child to college, there are several different things to be looked into. One of the first considerations will be finding the right school for your child to attend. Beyond this are also financial considerations for a student. The financial aspect of college will often times cause a child to rely on parents to help with funding options that are available. Because of this, there are several programs and funding options to send your kid to school in which you and the child can benefit from the investment.

One way to help with finances for sending your child to college is through a savings that you start early on. This can have many benefits to it later on. One of these is the Education IRA or the Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. By saving in this account, you will be able to have tax free costs, as long as the money is used for your child’s education. There is a limit to putting $2,000 in this account per year. Not only will this count towards your taxes, but it will also help with credit and investment reports if needed. Another is the Roth IRA Account. You can put up to $4,000 in the account every year, allowing accumulation potential. This is similar to the Coverdell Education Savings Account, but allows more flexibility in the amount of money you can save.

Another way to help is by becoming involved in the 529 Qualified Tuition Savings Plans. With this, you can contribute any amount that you like, and receive benefits with taxes. The savings, when used, will count as a gift tax treatment, which will lower your taxes considerably when factored in. These don’t have limits on the amount of money you put in, they can be started and given to any state, and you keep control of the money. Some disadvantages to this are that the plan is not guaranteed, so you may loose principal if finance charges change by the time your child goes to school. There is also the problem if there is a withdrawal from your child from school or if they receive a scholarship the money will have no use. If you decide to use the 529 plan, you will also most likely be using a broker to help with the money benefits and limitations.

Another way to help your child with finances and receive benefits at the same time is through the stock market. This way, you can minimize effects of capital gains taxes. You can give your child enough money to pay for their tuition through stock. When your child sells the stock, you can receive a lower tax rate off that stock. The best type of stock to invest in will consist of a mix of stocks, have reinvestment plans, receive mutual funds, and are best started when the child is young.

A third way to have money for your child’s education is through family scholarships. Through different types of scholarships, you can receive a given amount of tax credit for the family. Along this line, there are also several loans available from financial aid. This is one way to help with your child’s education, your credit, as well as making another investment that can cut off on taxes. Depending on the school, there may also be aid available through grants or scholarships for the family while the child receives their education.

One thing that most say is if you decide to invest in a child’s fund, it is also important to continue to invest in your own retirement accounts and other things. There are options to loan from yourself in another account if you need more money. This will also help in case your child decides not to go to school right away. Your entire investment will not be in one area.

There are several options to help fund your child’s school. The main key is to begin investing early and to look into all of the different ways that will benefit both you and your child. By knowing what will best fit you, you will be able to have taxes reduced, build credit and invest in something that will help your child for a lifetime.

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