Saving for college

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If you're considering paying for a loved one's college education, or if you're currently paying for your own, you probably know college tuition and related expenses can quickly add up. The best way to pay for college expenses without breaking your budget is to plan ahead, recognize how much money you'll need, and of course, start saving toward your college goal early.

Get an idea of how much you should save by visiting lgfcu.org/saveforcollege. Just add in your tuition details, current savings, and projected year of attendance. You'll see what you need to save to cover your costs. Once you crunch the numbers, you can start finding ways to save.

Here are five ideas that may help you achieve your college savings goal. One. Get in the habit of putting aside a set amount of money each month into a savings account designated for college. Consider funding an account that pays dividends, like a share term certificate from LGFCU, or a 529 college savings program.

Two. Deposit other types of money received, like birthday or holiday gifts from family members, or even income tax returns.

Three. If your kids are eligible, encourage them to enroll in advanced placement courses in high school. These college level courses may have a heavier workload. But by scoring a three or better on the end of your test, your child can get college credit for the class. That could save you thousands of dollars.

Four. Remember that state supported colleges and universities offer a great education with lower tuition than most private colleges. For North Carolina residents, state schools may be a good option.

Last. Don't forget about the grants, loans, scholarships, like the one offered by LGFCU, and other forms of financial aid available. Even if you're not sure that you're eligible, you should still apply. And, if you have a college savings program in place, make sure you review it each year to see if you need to make any changes.

College planning isn't always easy. But you've got LGFCU in your corner. And we're always here to answer your questions about the FAFSA, college savings programs, and other ways to get financially prepared for college.

LGFCU is an equal housing opportunity lender, and federally insured by NCUA.

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The situations described in this video are for informational purposes only and meant to provide examples of the products and services LGFCU offers to its members, which may be subject to approval. Contact a financial advisor or legal or tax professional for additional guidance.

The individuals presented in this video are members and employees of LGFCU and receive no added compensation for their appearance.

LGFCU is an equal housing opportunity lender and federally insured by NCUA.