Student loans trap parents, too

Published: Monday, April 8 2013 12:06 p.m. MDT

CNN/Money: Be wary of free college funding workshops sponsored by schools. Chances are, an insurance agent will be there selling whole-life policies designed to look like college savings plans. (Not the same as buying life insurance on an indebted graduate.) Instead, consult a fee-only certified financial planner regarding decisions about the best way to save for college expenses.

Cohen said that if the student plans to attend a public college in the family's state of residence, the state's tax-sheltered 529 savings plan is usually a smart savings strategy for parents. Most important is for parents to involve students in research about financing college.

"If there is one thing that annoys me to no end, it's when the parent does all the research because they don't want to overwhelm the child with adult decisions," Cohen said. "That's what college is for — prepping the little guy to go out into the world. If your child can't handle financial decisions, don't send them to college."


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