Financial Mistakes that Could Ruin Your Child's College Experience

Whether a child is the first to attend college in the family or the 41st, there is one major area in his or her life that will be dramatically affected by what parents say or do. This life experience involves how your child deals with his or her finances while attending college. Without effective parental planning, wisdom, patience, and most of all money, your child will most likely not complete college for reasons other than being unmotivated, distracted, or disinterested and they will have you to blame.

The following financial tips have been provided based on reasons why some people leave college and to help you evaluate what you have been saying or doing that may be causing more harm than good.

The worst mistake many parents do is send their children off to college without a college savings plan, sufficient grants and scholarships to help foot the bill, and no financial contribution from the family. Why encourage the child to go to a four-year university that you know you can't afford?

Parents will also make the mistake of not bothering to research other schooling that may be more affordable for all. Although college is a great choice it is not the only choice. There are trade and business schools that have programs that complete in months rather than years. Know where they are, how much they cost, programs offered, and whether your son and daughter would be willing to attend one of them. If he or she isn't paying for college, they may not have a choice.

Co-signing on loans has put a strain on many relationships between parents and children. Why allow them to take out loans knowing you nor they won't be able to pay even the minimum for a while. Deferring the loans also known as temporarily stopping payment until he or she can pay only allows the loan to accrue interest.

What about opening a credit card account for your child? If it isn't absolutely necessary, don't do it. Instead, purchase a debit card for him or her that gives you greater control over their finances until they show they are responsible. Although they can still open a credit card account on their own, be sure you remind them what will happen if they don't meet the payments each month. Talk to them about their credit report, credit score, and how it affects their future purchases. Show them how to use credit cards to build income like starting their own business, buying property or investing in mutual funds. When you encourage your child to use credit cards to pay for groceries, entertainment, rent, books, and transportation, you are teaching them that everything is an emergency no matter how small.

The time will come that you will grow tired of sending them money and will want them to get a job. If you want them to work while attending college, be prepared for them to reduce the amount of classes they take. It is rare for a college student to work a college work-study, a full time job, and carry a full time credit load, most often there just isn't enough time in the day to do it all. If you know that you don't have any intention of helping your child with their bills while attending college, then at least keep your eyes open for employers in your area hiring. Review his or her cover letter and resume while providing suggestions. Send them a book of stamps or offer to mail their resume to employers.

Withholding money to get your children to behave may have worked when he or she was a teenager, but for the young adult it can only aid in bitter feelings. Find another way to send a message that you want him or her to straighten up when they are failing classes such as being silent. Your silence will make them feel you are disappointed in them and they will either respect how you feel and see that they get their work done. You may want to reduce the money you send, but don't cut them off completely. You don't want them to blame you for not being able to purchase a book they needed for class.

When you haven't been the best example with your finances, you can't expect your children to do better than you. Rather be candid with the mistakes you made and show them what they are doing that is causing problems now and in the future with regard to their finances. Be a fortuneteller and provide them with a crystal ball of what their future holds.

Why do parents expect their children to acknowledge family holidays even though they know their children have no money? Don't put that kind of pressure on them when you know that you are barely giving them enough money to buy their personal products. Tell them you don't expect them to buy anything during holidays.

Parents will expect their children to use their financial aid money for their basic needs, rather than tell them to save it and use that to make future payments on their tuition and/or books. What's even worse, some parents expect children to send some of their financial aid money to them.

You busy college student will need for you to make the time to teach them how to manage their finances. Don't do this until you have your own financial situation together. Remember to seek professional advice for matters you don't understand.

For more articles by Nicholl McGuire, Click Here!

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