If paying for college has been on your mind within the last decade or so, you’ll be aware of the rising costs of everything associated with higher education. Dorm expenses, text books, meal plans, and that isn’t even considering the tuition of your actual classes. There are many ways to save for that range of expenses, and HomeTown Bank has many ways to help.
One of the easiest ways for parents and guardians to put a few extra coins towards your college savings every month is to maximize your savings account. Taking a look at the balance you maintain over time could qualify you for a higher interest rate by upgrading your account type. Contact your local personal banker to see which option is best for you. Verifying you’re receiving the best rates for the money you’re already saving is an easy first step!
For the under 18 years old group, HomeTown Bank offers a unique savings program called Star Savers. Off the bat, the interest rate of 3.50% APY* for the first $1,000 in the account is very appealing. While everything over the first $1,000 will earn a rate of 0.15% APY, the under 18 individuals will have the opportunity for bonus rewards. Great grades at $2 per A*, Service stars at $2 per hour*, and Learn and Earn classes available at $10 a class*. This is more than a savings opportunity, this is an earnings and learnings opportunity.
An alternate route that is worth considering is a Coverdell Education Savings Account. With an ESA, owners on the account can make annual nondeductible contributions to the child’s Coverdell account until they turn 18. These funds remain tax deferred while in the ESA. When used in the future for qualified education related expenses, the contributions and earnings come out tax free. These funds can be used for all types of education related expenses, like tuition, books and supplies, and in some cases room and board. There are annual contribution limits and deadlines, not too different from an IRA or HSA account. Contact your personal banker to establish a Coverdell Education Savings Account today.
In the months leading up to college, you will be prompted to apply for every scholarship under the sun, and you are in luck! Each HomeTown Bank location offers a scholarship to one graduating local senior in the community. Contact your local branch to learn how to apply to their scholarship opportunity. Add one more application to your list for the chance to pad your college savings a little further.
Saving for college doesn’t have to be a monumental task. There are small changes you can make to your banking practices, as well as larger more dedicated efforts. Every penny counts, and HomeTown Bank makes it easy to prepare for the next phase in your or your child’s life.
*HomeTown Bank Star Savers Account: Ages 0-17. Minimum opening deposit $25. Interest paid quarterly. Young Savers: 3.50% APY for balances $.01-1,000. 0.15% APY for balances over $1,000. Service Stars: $2 per hour for community service with up to 5 hours per certificate (up to 2 certificates per calendar year totaling up to $20). Great Grades: $2 per A or equivalent up to 5 A’s or equivalent per certificate (redeem within 1 month of report card, up to 2 certificates per calendar year totaling up to $20). Learn & Earn: $10 per 15 minute class at HomeTown Bank (up to 2 certificates per calendar year totaling up to $20). College Scholarship: Scholarship awarded annually to one graduating high school student living in a HomeTown Bank community that will be attending a post-secondary school.