Listener question: My student loan vs childs education

Written by
Peter Dunn

Hi Pete,

My husband and I are finishing paying off the remainder of our student loan debt (about $30k total remaining), and we are expecting our first child at the end of the year.

My question is- Do you recommend we pay off our OWN educations before beginning a college fund for our son?

We expect to be completely out of student loan debt (our only debt besides the mortgage) within 2-3 years. However, we believe that by starting his fund early, despite our own debt, we will get in the habit of contributing to it and he won't take out loans like we did!

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!


Hi Jen,

Thanks for your email. Congrats on your baby!!! That's so great.

Here is what I would do. Focus primarily on YOUR debt, and then worry about his schooling. However, I would still start a 529 college plan and contribute $25/month. This will get you in the habit (and get you the tax credit), then you can crank up contributions when you pay off your debt.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck with the baby. Tell him I said "hi" when he gets here. :)


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