How should a single mother approach her finances as she is returning back to school?

I am a 32 year old single mother of two kids and am returning to school this fall. I already have a LVN certificate and am going back to get my associates degree in nursing. My question is, would it be financially sensible to pay off my current loan of approximately $30K with the cash reserves (approximately $22K saved up) I have been saving. Or is it better to use that money to pay cash for the new college tuition this fall? I don't want to incur more student loan debt than is necessary.

College Tuition, Debt, Personal Finance
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June 2017
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First of all many, "props" to you!!! As a product of a single mom, I have the utmost respect for you! It'll be hard but well worth it. My mom changed careers 3 times, while raising two rowdy boys, for that she's one of my heroes.

There are a few items to consider. Will you work as you go back to school? If so, will work reimburse you for tuition? While in school will the current loan stop accruing interest? Have you applied for student aid, scholarships, grants? If not, work with the school financial aid department. If you can cash flow tuition, do it. I'm a huge proponent of not having student debt, with that said, I'm reluctant to suggest using your cash reserves to pay off current debt.  I'm concerned you'll not have a cushion to fall back on should something come up.  Once you graduate, which I know you will, and get a raise, pay off all your consumer debt as quickly as possible. Get "momma bear" focused on your consumer debt and tear it up.

June 2017
June 2017
June 2017
June 2017