Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
You may have a lot of financial goals that could include paying off debt, saving for emergencies, buying a home and investing for retirement. How is it possible to also save for our kid’s college? My parents didn’t save any money for me to go to college and I ended up with a lot of student debt. In this post, I’ll discuss ways you can save with the ultimate goal being to minimize student loan debt.
the CARES Act & Your Student Loans
Principal and interest payments on federally-held student loans are automatically suspended through December 31, 2020.
The CARES Act suspended principal and interest payments on federally-held student loans through September 30, 2020, and an Executive Order directed the Department of Education to extend the suspension until December 31, 2020. The Department of Education extended other student loan benefits in the CARES Act until December 31, 2020.
What you need to know:
From March 13 through December 31, 2020, the interest rate is set to 0% and payments are suspended for student loans owned by the federal government. If you made a payment toward your federally-held student loans after March 13, you can request a refund from your student loan servicer.
PRO TIP: If you are financially able to make payments or continue making regular payments on your student loans, any payments you make after March 13th will be applied directly to principal. This will help you pay off your loans faster.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: TASHA KILLIAN, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Choosing to pursue higher education can be a tough decision. It can be an even harder decision when you look at all the costs. In light of National Higher Education Day, high school graduations, and college freshmen getting ready for their first semester, I thought I would share with you a few tips that got me through some of my higher education days, when money gets a little tight. If you, one of your children, a niece, nephew, or someone else you know is going to be starting their higher education experience in the next little bit, be sure to pass these tips on to them.
Meaningful Graduation Gifts
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: KATHY RIGGS, USU EXTENSION PROFESSOR
Meaningful graduation gifts - Must they have a price tag attached? It’s again the time of year when graduation announcements begin to fill up mail boxes and social media pages. Though most graduates will experience a non-traditional ceremony this year, friends and family will still wish to acknowledge the hard work of high school, college or technology school graduates. However, with financial strains placed on many families, it can be difficult to know how much to spend and what type of gift will still be meaningful with less discretionary funds available.
Some may still consider giving a laptop, new smart phone or car. However, these can be very expensive and out of reach for many parents, especially when finances may be stretched just to cover basic necessities. However, this is a great time to share some sound financial advice-- which may be the most useful “food for thought” gift a parent can give. It may be that going to a quiet spot to share a favorite take-out meal will help the advice to be easier to share and easier to accept.
For parents: Six possible financial management strategies to consider sharing:
GUEST BLOGGER: ELIZABETH DAVIS
Paying for college can be an overwhelming task. According to the Federal Reserve (2019) the average student loan debt per students finishing an undergraduate degree is $32,731.
I was in graduate school when my daughter was born. Ironically the semester that she was born I was in a social policy class that discussed the expense of having children. I was overwhelmed and disheartened to learn that on average it costs $233,610 to raise a child to the age of 18 and that was NOT including college expenses! I was pregnant, sick, and overwhelmed by what seemed like the impossible task of planning for my child’s future while I was still in the throes of finishing my own education.
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