Save Money for College at Your New Bedford Credit Union

money-for-collegeWhen it comes time to learn how to save money for college, there’s no better place to go than your local New Bedford credit union. Credit union savings accounts and other investment programs can help you to put money aside for your child’s college education – or your own. Studies show that a college education can increase the total amount of income that an individual will make over the course of their lifetime by a huge margin, so it can really pay off to get a college degree.

Many people go back to school years after they have graduated college, so it’s not uncommon for adults to want to put money aside in credit union savings to help pay for school. Other adults go back to finish the college education that they started, but put on hold to start a family or because they couldn’t afford tuition. No matter when you want to go to school – or at what age you want to start – your New Bedford credit union can help you save and grow your money so you will be ready to achieve your goals.

Financial Aid Tips

In some situations you might need to rely on financial aid to help pay for your courses. The most important step to take is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student AID – otherwise known as FAFSA. The information that is required in this form will be used to determine whether or not you qualify for any state or federal grants and loans to help you pay for school. The FAFSA form must be filled out in order to receive aid from state or federal agencies and most educational institutions will require that it be turned in before any school-based aid is awarded as well.

On January 1st of each year, the FAFSA is usually made available for students to fill out. The deadline to have it filled out and submitted will depend upon the school that you are attending or are interested in attending. The availability of grants and loans is limited, so the sooner you can submit the completed form, the better. Both parents and students must fill out the FAFSA form in order to get approval. One of the most important federal aid tips is to make sure that you fill out the form and get it submitted as soon as you can.

BONUS TIP – Even if you don’t think you will qualify, you should still at least try. Most students will qualify for what is known as an unsubsidized federal loan, which accrues interest from the time the loan is issued. Subsidized loans are also available, in which the government covers the interest as long as you or your child who is attending college, are at least a part-time student.

How Much Credit Union Savings Should I Have?

The amount of money you will need is dependent upon the school that you are attending and the courses you will want to take. The best way to gauge it is to look up the attendance online, subtract any scholarships or federal aid that you will be receiving for the year. The amount that remains is the amount of money that you will need to pay out of pocket to the school to attend the program. Some educational institutions provide a tuition calculator online that will help you estimate the costs more effectively.

While some schools allow monthly payments or payment installments to be made for the first couple of months each semester, it is better to make sure that you learn how to save money for college so you won’t have to rely on these programs, that sometimes charge high interest rates. If you need additional funds to pay for your college courses beyond your credit union savings, check with your New Bedford credit union about possible loans that might be available to you to help you get into or stay in school.