Considering parent loans? Before committing, ask yourself:
• Are you risking retirement? While your child can borrow for school, you can’t borrow for retirement. • Are you struggling with other debt? Carrying a credit card balance or holding other high-interest debt is a red flag. • Can you afford payments? Do the math. Budget tuition loan payments to make sure they fit. • Do you have an emergency fund? Don’t force yourself to choose between a medical emergency and a student loan payment. Already taken the plunge? If your income is lower, explore income-contingent repayment, which caps monthly bills at 20% of your discretionary income and stretches out the repayment term to 25 years. If your child is financially stable, consider refinancing in their name. They will likely need a credit score in the high 600s and a stable income to qualify. You can refinance in your own name, too. If a disability precludes you from work, ask about disability discharge. This is available for federal loans and some private loans.
Cecilia Clark is a lead writer at NerdWallet.
The article Pay for Your Kid’s College? 3 Times to Think Twice was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.
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