Unusual Ways to Pay for College Tactic #1 . . . Pay off Debts

Barry Lenson

Unusual Ways to Pay for College Tactic #1 . . . Pay off Debts

With this post, the StraighterLine Blog launches a series of posts that offer straightforward tactics for reducing college costs.

Today’s tactic is . . . Use your assets to pay off your debts before you file your FAFSA

Today’s strategy might sound a little devious, at first. But think about it. Isn’t it perfectly legal to move your assets around?

You can put this tactic to work simply by using any accumulated cash that your family has on hand to pay off any credit card debts before you file a FAFSA online.

There’s a simple reason for doing it: the more cash your family has in accounts, the harder it is for you to qualify for Federal loans or other assistance. In addition, having too much cash could result in smaller scholarships or loan qualifications from the colleges where you apply.

Here’s a scenario to consider . . . 

Let’s say that your family has $40,000 saved, but owes $20,000 in credit card debt. If you pay off that debt with cash before you file your FAFSA, you will have only to report only $20,000 in cash assets when you file the FAFSA. That could help you qualify for more aid.

We’ll have another aid-boosting strategy for you in a few days. Stay tuned!

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