What to Do if You Don’t Have a College Fund for Your Child

Learn how you impact your child’s ability to pay for school.

May 4, 2014 at 9:34AM


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Paying for the total cost of your child's college education can be a difficult task to accomplish. Parents with good intentions to help their children do not always have the financial means to pay for higher education.

Even if you don't have a ton of money saved for your kids, it is important for you to recognize that your financial upkeep can provide a variety of options to your child while in school. It is true that cash is always helpful, yet it is not the only aspect of your finances where you can provide support for your college student.

Learn how your credit, equity in your home, credit card habits, and other resources can all impact your child's ability to pay for school.

Give your child a credit card?
College is the perfect time for someone to establish his or her credit. Consider allowing your child to serve as secondary cardholder for one of your credit cards. This is a controversial move, so be sure to set rules and limits. Teach your child the importance of managing credit as a student, and remember to reinforce your rules. If the card is primarily for things like emergencies or textbooks, be sure they are aware of this.

Help research scholarships for your child
Use the following websites as places to start your scholarship hunt:

Establish a goal for how much your child can receive through scholarships. Consider making the goal feasible, such as being awarded enough to cover the cost of housing for each year of college.

Set up quotas to help keep your child on track. Quotas can be anywhere from three new scholarships a week, or a certain amount each quarter or semester.

Pay down your mortgage for financial security
The lower your mortgage, the more equity and financial power you have in general. In the event you need access to a large amount of money to fund your child's education, your home's equity can help. Many parents help fund their child's education through refinancing their home loan to receive a lump sum of money.

A good FICO score can help your child land student loans
In the instance that your child needs to take out a student loan, a cosigner will be necessary, and your good credit is crucial.

If your credit score is below 650, it's important that you make an effort to improve your credit score. Take steps to improve your score by paying your debts on time, and by paying down your bigger debts first.

Worrying about paying for college? What about your retirement fund?
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This article originally appeared on MyBankTracker.com

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

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KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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