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Knock Knock – Who’s There?

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Being a parent, you know the two major priorities for your child are to protect and provide for them. It is hard enough to do so in the here and now. Worrying about the future can almost feel like too much to ponder. With your focus on ‘What to have for dinner tonight’ it leaves little room for ‘Where will we get the money to send our child to college?’ But before you know it, this future concern will be knocking on your front door.

Meanwhile, the student loan crisis is getting out of hand. The average total student loan debt per person is $31,172, saddling college graduates with an average monthly payment of nearly $400. With statistics like these it’s is no wonder why many grads are putting off major life milestones such as buying a house or starting a family. There just isn’t enough money to go around.

With $1.6 trillion in student debt in the US already, how can you keep your child from being part of the statistic? Hopefully they are lucky or gifted enough to earn scholarships and/or grants. Loans and savings are also valuable tools your family can use to fund your child’s education. You may have to use one or all avenues to help cover the total cost. However, a dollar saved now is one less dollar that may have to be borrowed in the future.

Preparing for the costs of higher education for your child can be daunting, but you don’t have to face it alone. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and even friends helping to boost your savings account can be a tremendous help. Many families are asking for monetary donations instead of toys or gifts for holidays and celebrations. The phrase “it takes a village” has never been truer than when preparing for your child’s future education.

Did you know your child is six times more likely to attend college if they know they have a savings account in their name? One great way to save for their future education is with WA529 college savings plans. With WA529, your family can choose between the Guaranteed Education Tuition Program (GET), and the DreamAhead College Investment Plan. As 529 plans, all earnings and withdrawals from GET and DreamAhead are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses. Your student can use them to attend colleges, universities and technical schools anywhere in the country, and even abroad. If you would like to learn more about Washington College Savings Plans visit www.wastate529.wa.gov.

 

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