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With many financial aid packages being cut as part of overall budgetary cutbacks by the government, many families and students are finding that they must foot an ever increasing portion of the higher education bill through traditional means. Unfortunately, many families simply cannot afford to pay for their child’s education out-of-pocket. They find themselves turning to alternative means to help finance educational expenses, and some families are turning to lines of credit as one unique solution.

Though only available to families with assets or other financial means, lines of Innovative Finance can offer the solution to helping pay for college when other method are not available. Parents may take out a line of credit on their home, or establish a line of credit based on their creditworthiness and assets at their local bank. These open up an account that works like a credit card, but has the convenience of a checking account.

For example, say that John, a child of Mary and Bob, is attending the local University. Financial aid and student loans have taken care of 85% of his educational expenses, but that still leaves 15% that John and/or his parents are responsible for. Though John has a part-time job, at the beginning of the semester he needs an additional $1,200 to pay for tuition. His parents write a check against their line of credit at the local bank. When the check comes through the bank it is paid like a normal check, but now it converts into a traditional line of credit loan with monthly payments due and an agreed-upon interest rate.

Though not widely available in the United States, students in Canada also have another option available when paying for their college expenses. In Canada many banks offer what is called a Student Line of Credit. This type of funding is available for students who are not receiving any financial aid from Canada authorities. Payments are made on the interest only during the period in which the student is enrolled and afterwards has a repayment period of up to 84 months.

Financing a higher education can be a process that takes a lot of creative financing by both parents and students. Though the promise of a higher education is available to more people than ever before, the need to come up with a plan for paying for it is extremely important for both students and parents.

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