Paying for the total cost of your child's college education can be a difficult task to accomplish. Parents with good intentions to help their children do not always have the financial means to pay for higher education.

Even if you don't have a ton of money saved for your kids, it is important for you to recognize that your financial upkeep can provide a variety of options to your child while in school. It is true that cash is always helpful, yet it is not the only aspect of your finances where you can provide support for your college student.

Learn how your credit, equity in your home, credit card habits, and other resources can all impact your child's ability to pay for school.

Give your child a credit card?

College is the perfect time for someone to establish his or her credit. Consider allowing your child to serve as secondary cardholder for one of your credit cards. This is a controversial move, so be sure to set rules and limits. Teach your child the importance of managing credit as a student, and remember to reinforce your rules. If the card is primarily for things like emergencies or textbooks, be sure they are aware of this.

Help research scholarships for your child

Use the following websites as places to start your scholarship hunt:

Establish a goal for how much your child can receive through scholarships. Consider making the goal feasible, such as being awarded enough to cover the cost of housing for each year of college. Set up quotas to help keep your child on track. Quotas can be anywhere from three new scholarships a week, or a certain amount each quarter or semester.

Pay down your mortgage for financial security

The lower your mortgage, the more equity and financial power you have in general. In the event you need access to a large amount of money to fund your child's education, your home's equity can help. Many parents help fund their child's education through refinancing their home loan to receive a lump sum of money.

A good FICO score can help your child land student loans

In the instance that your child needs to take out a student loan, a cosigner will be necessary, and your good credit is crucial. If your credit score is below 650, it's important that you make an effort to improve your credit score. Take steps to improve your score by paying your debts on time, and by paying down your bigger debts first.

Related Articles
  1. Credit & Loans

    Explaining Equated Monthly Installments

    An equated monthly installment is a fixed payment a borrower makes to a lender on the same date of each month.
  2. Savings

    The Top Seven 529 Plans for 2015

    With so many choices and so many features (tax advantages, fees, annualized returns) to consider, it's hard to know which 529 plan to choose. Here's help.
  3. Personal Finance

    Money Matters on Campus: Attitudes & Aptitudes

    Financial trends among college students are a cause for concern, prompting a renewed emphasis on financial instruction.
  4. Budgeting

    Top 10 Ways College Students Can Save Money

    College costs are soaring, but fortunately, there are several ways for college students to save money - and some are quite painless.
  5. Personal Finance

    8 Ways to Find Cheap Textbooks

    Textbooks are so expensive. What are the tricks to find cheaper books?
  6. Investing

    The 7 Best Peer-To-Peer Lending Websites

    A look at some of the most well-known and reputable peer-to-peer lending websites, their business models and successes to date.
  7. Budgeting

    Best 5 Money-Saving Tips to Get out of Debt

    Understand the different types of debt and the reasons why people get into debt. Learn about five tips to follow to get out of debt.
  8. Personal Finance

    Dissecting the Simple Interest Formula

    Simple interest ignores the effect of compounding: it's only calculated on the principal amount. This makes it easier to calculate than compound interest.
  9. Credit & Loans

    Your Credit Score: More Important Than You Know

    Credit scores affect key aspects of your personal and professional life. Knowing your score and managing your credit input can make a big difference.
  10. Credit & Loans

    Why Ignoring Your 529 Plan Could Cost You Big

    Saving for your kids' college tuition can be difficult. Here's how a 529 plan can help and how you, too, can help your 529 plan.
  1. Student loans, federal and private: what's the difference?

    The cost of a college education now rivals many home prices, making student loans a huge debt that many young people face ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Under what circumstances might a syndicated loan be arranged?

    Syndicated loans are almost always arranged for huge, complicated projects that involve major corporations or governments. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How risky is a syndicated loan for the lender?

    Syndicated loans are specifically designed to spread risk exposure among different lenders in a joint liability venture. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I calculate how much home equity I have?

    Even though it is normally assumed most people know their home equity, many are still confused about the topic. It is an ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. In the context of a bond, what does the principal refer to?

    The principal of a bond refers to its face value, or the actual amount listed on the bond itself. The bond's principal is ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!