An IMCU Lifestyle Guide: Preparing For A College Education

According to the Vanguard investment management firm, when today’s babies are old enough to attend college, a year at a private school will cost upwards of $120,000, so a four-year degree will have a price tag of nearly a half-million dollars. Even public colleges are expected to cost $54,000 annually, for a four-year cost of $216,000. That’s why it’s so important to start planning (and saving) for education long before your student is ready. Indiana Members Credit Union created this guide to help you prepare and save, whether college is more than a decade away or coming soon. We’ve included plenty of valuable advice and helpful resources. Continue reading

A student loan that’s a PLUS

If you’re struggling to find money to cover your college costs, and the school’s financial aid package doesn’t go far enough, there’s a special kind of loan that may be helpful.

It’s called a PLUS loan, which stands for Parent Loan to Undergraduate Students. With a PLUS loan, your parent actually agrees to borrow money for you. Your parent takes out the loan, and you use the proceeds to pay for tuition, textbooks, living expenses, or other needs. Continue reading

Get A Job Or Take A Bigger Loan?

In the long run, earning a college degree should mean that your lifetime income will be substantially higher than what you’d make without one. But in the short term, it can be tough to pay the cost of getting that degree. Students who are struggling to make ends meet as they face their next tuition bill may be wondering if it makes more sense to get a job, or if they’d be better off taking out larger student loans. Continue reading

How NOT to use Student Loans


When you take out student loans, you may have the opportunity to borrow more than you actually need for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. It can be tempting to ask for extra money to cover other costs associated with going to school — but it usually isn’t a great idea. That’s because student loans can be very costly. The bigger they get, the more time it takes to pay them off, and the more expensive they become.

In simple terms, it’s okay to use your loans to cover things that will have a long-term benefit, such as the cost of your degree and basic room and board. It’s generally not a good idea to borrow for things that will be consumed very quickly, like Saturday-night pizzas, munchies, adult beverages (of course, we’re referring to fancy coffee drinks), or concert tickets. Continue reading