Planning for College

Find tools to help you fund your child's college education plan

In addition to grants and scholarships, and loans from federal and private sources, there are a number of ways to accumulate—or tap—the resources you'll need when planning for your child's college education. Here are four popular college financial strategies for doing so.

1. 529 education plans

State-sponsored legislation created these plans as a flexible and tax-advantaged way to invest for higher education purposes. They are popular because most plans allow you to invest as little as $15 per month, to shift a portion of your estate to future generations, and even to fund your own higher education if you'd like. You can learn more about 529 education products offered through Charter One Investment Services.

Please consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. More information about municipal fund securities is available in the issuer's official statement.

2. College Saver SM

This is a simple, manageable college savings plan offered by Charter One. Just open a CollegeSaverSM account before your child's 12th birthday. Save the monthly minimum amount each year and receive a $1,000 bonus plus interest when the child turns 18. You can even set up free, automatic Steady Save® transfers from a Charter One checking account to help you stay on track.

3. Savings bonds

This college education plan is a tried and true way for families to begin planning for college and saving, sometimes as early as the child's birth. Over the years, bonds purchased in the child's name and given on the occasion of birthdays and other holidays can really add up when the bonds are redeemed at a premium over their face value, representing the accumulated interest.

4. Home equity loans

If you don't have enough savings to cover your child's cost of attendance, consider financing options to cover the remaining expense. For some families, depending on their circumstances, one of the best options for funding their child's education is tapping the equity in their home, through a home equity loan.

Among the attractions of home equity loans:

  • The interest rate is fixed at the time of application
  • The loan amount is limited only by the amount of equity in the applicant's home, their debt-to-income ratio and their credit-worthiness
  • Home equity loans may qualify you for tax breaks, since in many cases the interest you pay is tax-deductible (check with your tax advisor first)
  • Monthly payments for 10-year home equity loans are comparable to Federal PLUS loans

Learn more about other Charter One college financing options

In addition to home equity loans, private student loans can help pay for your child's education expenses. Learn more about our Charter One TruFit Student Loan™. If you still have questions, call a student loan specialist at 1-800-721-3969, and we'll help walk you through the process.

Securities, Insurance and Investment Advisory Services offered through CCO Investment Services Corp. Member FINRA, SIPC. 53 State St., MBS770, Boston, MA 02109. 1-800-942-8300. CCO Investment Services Corp. is an affiliate of RBS Charter One, N.A. and Charter One of Pennsylvania. RBS Charter One, N.A. and Charter One of Pennsylvania are wholly owned subsidiaries of Charter One Financial Group.

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Mutual Funds, Variable Annuities and Unit Investment Trusts are sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus which contains this and other information can be obtained by calling your Financial Consultant. Read it carefully before you invest.

Additional student loan and college planning resources

Investment in an Education
Using Loans to Pay for an Education
Impact of Multiple Kids in College at Once
Advantages of Cosigning a Student Loan
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