Education Planning > Pay for college without going into debt
Pay for college without going into debt
Monthly payment plans make education more affordable
If your parents are paying your tuition, or even if they're just beginning to plan for your education, there's an important option that you should know about – the monthly payment plan.
This is the story of how a typical American family used a monthly payment plan to make their son's education affordable and to help him graduate without education debt.
Mary Manning knew that paying tuition for both of her sons at the same time was going to be a challenge. The older of the two was already attending a private college as her younger son was about to begin his freshman year at another private school.
"Both of our boys had academic scholarships, but financial assistance didn't pay for everything," she recalls. "Our older son was in his junior year when his younger brother was getting ready to start. We just didn't know if we could afford to pay for both of them at the same time."
Fortunately, the Manning family found a solution in the form of an interest-free, monthly payment plan.
"We found out about the monthly payment plan at my younger son's college orientation," she explains. "So we talked to the people at his college and they explained how it worked."
The monthly payment plan allowed Mary to turn her son's annual tuition costs into manageable payments. So instead of borrowing now and paying later (with interest), the monthly payment plan let the Manning family make regular payments that fit their budget.
"We felt very comfortable about using it," she says. "My provider was always very informative and helpful."
What if you need more?
When their younger son's college raised its tuition, the Manning family was prepared. They simply contacted their payment plan provider.
"We were able to adjust our payment to cover the increase. The company we worked with was excellent, and they didn't make us feel like it was going to be a problem."
Sometimes though, the combination of financial aid and a monthly payment plan aren't quite enough. But you still have options. You can also combine loans with your payment plan. So even though you may need to borrow, a monthly payment plan can help you borrow less, saving you interest while minimizing long-term debt.
Since a monthly payment plan is not a loan, it does not require a credit check. So, like the Manning family, you're already qualified.
What's the catch? Any surprises?
To get started, there's a small annual fee to participate. For most plans, it's usually under $100, and often as low as $50-$75.
A monthly payment plan is for me. How do I enroll?
Since monthly payment plan options and providers differ by school, it pays to do your homework and choose the plan that best fits your student's needs and situation.
It's easy to learn more about monthly payment plans or confirm that your school offers one. If you need a monthly payment plan for more than one year, ask about easy annual renewal too.
"I definitely would recommend it because I really do feel like it's a good program. It helped us attain our goals," Mary says. "Now both of our sons have completely paid tuitions, with no education debt. It's the biggest gift of all."