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How Do Student Loans Affect Your Credit Scores?

Federal and private student loans are reported to the three major U.S. credit bureaus. Like any other debt, delinquencies and defaults will affect the credit history and credit scores of the borrower and the borrower's cosigner, if any. But, there are also several ways in which student loans affect credit scores differently than other types of debt.

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Paying for College with Your 401(k): Wise Move or Bad Choice?

As an alternative to traditional student loans, borrowing against your 401(k) to pay for a child’s or grandchild’s college education presents advantages and disadvantages. Experts caution against 401(k) loans because they will impact your own retirement situation. However, a 401(k) loan might be a viable option for you under certain circumstances. In other cases, it may be the only option.

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The truth about scholarships and 529 plans

Scholarships can help fill the gap when a family isn't able to save for their entire college bill, and they can put a coveted, more expensive school within reach. But just because you feel your child has a good shot at winning a scholarship one day doesn't mean you should hold off on saving with a 529. Here's why:

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5 tips for a tax-free 529 plan withdrawal

A non-qualified withdrawal from your 529 plan could mean having to pay income tax as well as a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the distribution. These five tips will walk you through the withdrawal process and maximize the value of your college savings.

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529 plan state tax deduction loophole

If your state offers a state income tax benefit for contributions to a 529 plan, you can get a discount on tuition costs by making a contribution and taking a distribution the next day. This loophole can save you 3% to 10% of college costs, depending on the state.

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