When my oldest daughter was born many years ago, I had just finished college a week (yes, literally seven days!) before. My husband wouldn’t be done for another semester (and I waited to walk with him at graduation). It’s hard to believe that our baby girl is halfway done with her college education – and as of last weekend, she’s a married woman!
As we finished up our schooling and started our family, we were just beginning to think about paying back our own student loans. Planning ahead for our children’s educations was something far ahead in the future.
And then, it seems, we blinked our eyes and that baby girl was graduating high school and getting college acceptance letters in the mail. Don’t even get me started on the fact that she got married last Saturday!
Just as we’ve started to settle in to this stage in our lives as parents, our next daughter is about to enter the college application process. Pretty soon, we’ll be packing up her things and moving her in to her life on campus.
I remember when my oldest daughter was finishing up her senior year, preparing to move 3000 miles away to attend school. Several of my local friends asked how I was dealing with the fact that she’d be moving so far away. I told them that I’d been preparing for this day for 18 years. Yes, I’d miss her but wasn’t this what we had been working towards as parents her whole life?
Yes, I was prepared for her leaving but not so prepared for the way HER college experience effected our family finances.
Are YOU prepared for your kids’ college?
Luckily, as parents often do with their oldest child, we learned a few things through her college experience that we will be using with the other kids…and the tips that tops our list is to start planning way ahead for college expenses.
This year, we’ve been introduced to College Ave Student Loans Parent Loan program. Here’s what you need to know about College Ave:
College Ave Student Loans recently launched the New Parent Loan, which offers savings over Federal Plus Loans. With no origination fee and a lower fixed interest rate than the federal program, College Ave Student Loans new parent loan has the potential to save parents big bucks. In fact, qualified parent borrowers save an average of $1,000 versus the Federal Direct Parent Plus program.
Not only do the parents loans offer savings, but they have more flexibility to fit your specific financial situation. Parents can choose to start paying the loan in full right away, or to limit monthly payments while the student is in school, and to pick their own repayment terms from 5 to 12 years. Parents can also choose to have money deposited directly into their own bank account to help pay for extra expenses (like food, books, and housing) which often get over-looked when budgeting for college.
I took the site for a spin and tried out the College Ave Student Loans qualification tool and Parent Loan Calculator. I was amazed at how easy it was to customize options to fit our budget and my daughter’s upcoming tuition needs.
I love how you can choose the payments you’d like to make each month and how you can instantly see how that directly impacts the amount that you’ll be paying in the end. You can opt to pay over 12, 10, 8 years (and more), and the loan calculator adjusts the amount you’ll be paying – both in interest charges and in monthly payments after school is over.
Because every family has different needs and unique budgets, a one-size-fits-all loan program….well, it WOULDN’T be one-size-fits-all. With College Ave Student Loans Parent Loan program, you really can pick the loan that is the best fit for YOU and your family.
Do you have kids in college or high school? How have you started planning for their college career?
What tips do you have to make paying for college as painless as possible?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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