Are You Financially Literate?
Financial Literacy (fi-nans'-shal lit' a-ra-see) n. 1. your knowledge of the facts, concepts, principles and technological tools fundamental to being smart about money.
|Complements of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).|
Links to Literacy!
- Financial Awareness Counseling (Department of Education Counseling full of interactive tools that are linked to the National Student Loan Database System so you can incorporate your actual student loan debt into your financial planning.)
- NSLP Financial Literacy Online (Website operated by the National Student Loan Program. Contains online courses on budgeting, contracts, credit, identity theft and more.)
- 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (Website operated by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Contains a special section just for issues related to college students.)
- MyMoney.Gov (U.S. Government website dedicated to teaching Americans the basics of financial education. Contains many links to helpful websites, calculators and worksheets.)
- Financial Goals Worksheet (created by Southwestern College - a worksheet designed to assist you in plannning your financial future.)
- FREE Annual Credit Report (The only source for your free credit reports. Authorized by law)
- FREE Credit Score (Credit Sesame believes that access to your credit information is a personal right.)
- Student Loan Practices (Website operated by MoneyGeek. Contains online resources regarding unfair student loan practices, how to pay for college, the FAFSA, Debt free college/scholarships, Loan Consoliolation, Loan Forgiveness, paying for Graduate school or online schooling, and college savings plans.)
Great Ways to Save on Education
The United States government has taken steps to make paying for school easier. Be sure to consult your tax advisor to determine whether you may take advantage of any of these incentives.
American Opportunity Credit
Claim up to a $2,500 credit on college and other post-secondary expenses, even if you don't owe any taxes. Learn more on the IRS YouTube website.
HOPE Tax Credit
Qualifying taxpayers can claim a tax credit of up to $1,500 for each qualifying family member who is attending an eligible school. You can claim 100% of the first $1,000 of your "out-of-pocket" educational expenses for each student, plus 50% of the next $1,000. The student must be enrolled at least half time and in the first or second year of a degree of certificate granting program.
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
Qualifying taxpayers can claim a maximum credit of up to $2,000 (20% of the first $10,000). This credit is calculated per family, not per student. You can claim this credit at any time during a student's education at an eligible school. The student needs to be enrolled in at least one course.
Coverdell Education Savings Account
This program allows you to save money for future educational expenses. A Coverdell Account can be established for anyone under 18 years of age. Contributions are not tax deductible, but the funds grow untaxed.
These state-sponsored investment programs permit taxpayers to make contributions on behalf of a beneficiary. The account earnings are untaxed until withdrawn for the beneficiary's qualified college education expenses. Listed below are links to more information about the 529 plans for just a few of our neighboring states.
For a comprehensive list of plans as well as more information about Saving for College, check out Savingforcollege.com -- a website founded in the spring of 2000 by a curious, mild-mannered public accountant with a mission of helping families figure out ways of paying for college.