The True Cost of a Borrowing for College

Most families haven’t saved enough to pay the full college tab, which can lead to some uncomfortable conversations about how much college debt parents should assume versus their children.
It can be hard, however, to get a true picture of how onerous that debt will be for parents and their children in the future.
There is a free online tool from SimpleTuition, however, that can help. The College Cost Adjuster can customize financial aid awards from any college and reveal what the monthly payments for all borrowing will be for both students and their parents after college graduation.
In using the tool, families can adjust the sources of college funds, such as grants, loans, work-study and savings, and see how each change would impact the student and the parent’s finances.  The tool also provides an estimate of the salary that the student would need to make after graduation to support expected student loan payments.
While Americans often base car and home purchases on the amount of their future monthly payments, families rarely look at this when they are underwriting a college education. And they should.
I definitely think this tool is worth checking out.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow her on Twitter.

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