We have one mantra that we repeat to parents over and over: It is never too late to save. Even if your child is heading off to college in the fall or if your child is already in college, you can begin to save today. So with this mantra inscribed in your psyche let’s look at some strategies you can use to jump-start your savings right now.
1. Take stock of your savings. Make a record of all of your financial accounts and investments and the amount that you have in each. You may not have saved for the purpose of college, but when you look at your assets, you may have savings you can use toward college. Regardless, know what your assets are.
2. Research financial aid and scholarship options. Learn as much as you can about the opportunities you may have for financial aid from your child’s college, the government, and scholarships. Be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for assistance from the government.
3. Get help. Speak with your child’s high school counselor or college financial aid office. Explain your situation and work with them to develop strategies for saving.
4. Make sure you are credit worthy. Some student loans are based on your credit-worthiness. Ensure that credit reports are accurate, and try to reduce your debt as much as possible. This will offer you the best opportunity for obtaining student loans.
5. Be supportive when your child applies for financial aid and scholarships. Your child will need your assistance when completing applications for financial aid and scholarships. Dedicate time to helping.
6. Reduce costs. Forgo the unnecessary extras in your spending and figure out ways to reduce costs on essential items as well.
7. Remember that college is four years. Even if you haven’t saved for your child’s first year of college, you can start saving now for his or her second, third, and fourth year.
8. Know that you are not the only one in this situation. There are many other parents who for their own reasons have not been able to save for their children’s college education. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss your situation with high school counselors or college financial aid officers who can help.
Saving for your child’s education will require work and sacrifice, but the education he or she receives will be worth it. After all, who will take care of you after you retire?
For more information: Learn everything you need to help your child get into and pay for college in Get Into Any College: Secrets Of Harvard Students and Get Free Cash For College: Scholarship Secrets Of Harvard Students.