April 23, 2009

The best and worst of 529 plans

Posted in Saving for College tagged , , , at 11:56 AM by Joe From Boston

The Wall Street Journal has a great new article that evaluates 529 plans, taking into account the current economic meltdown in a study by Morningstar Inc.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The report… found that several plans were caught off-guard when their investments in some of OppenheimerFunds Inc.’s bond funds reported sharp losses. In other plans, the asset-allocation mix in the popular “age based” portfolios — which turn more conservative as the child nears college — turned out to be riskier than expected.

Such factors knocked several well-regarded 529s off the best list this year, such as Illinois’s Bright Start College Savings Program, which had offered the Oppenheimer funds that imploded and still has money in them.”

To see the best and worst, click here to view the entire article.

How Much Can I Borrow?

Posted in Parent PLUS Loans tagged at 8:33 AM by dbonvie

The yearly limit on a Parent PLUS Loan is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. If the students cost of attendance is $15,000, for example, and they receive $8,000 in other financial aid, you can borrow up to $7,000 to bridge the gap.

When Do I Begin Repaying My Parent Plus Loan?

Posted in Parent PLUS Loans tagged at 8:07 AM by dbonvie

For Plus loans made to parents on or after July 1, 2008, the borrower has the option of beginning the repayment period 60 days after the loan has been fully dispersed or waiting until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

For parents who took out a loan prior to July 1, 2008 you do not have an option I’m afraid. The repayment period, as you already know, automatically kicked in 60 days after the loan was fully dispersed. Still, you may file for an economic hardship deferment or forbearance with your lender if needed as you do have three years worth of deferment benefits.