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My kids are worth how much? These are the special tax breaks for parents

Love & Money is a MarketWatch serieslooking at how our relationship with money impacts our relationships with signicant others, friends and family. Most parents wouldn’ttrade the experience of raising children for anything in the world.If only it weren’t so darn expensive. Between the medical bills, child care and college tuition, it’s a wonder parenting hasn’t gone theway ofthewet nurse. Fortunately,the government offers some fairly generous tax breaks to help ease the financial burden.

The College Promise Campaign

he College Promise Campaign is a national, non-partisan initiative to build broad public support for funding the first two years of higher education for hard-working students, starting in America’s community colleges. We want the first two years of college to become as universal, free, and accessible as high school has been for nearly a century! While this is a national movement, local communities and states are leading the way to create College Promise programs, which cover tuition and fees leading to a community college degree or occupational certificate.

No Income? No Problem! How the Gov't Is Saddling Parents with College Loans They Can't Afford

More than a decade after Aurora Almendral first set foot on her dream college campus, she and her mother still shoulder the cost of that choice.

As Parents Struggle to Repay College Loans for Their Children, Taxpayers Also Stand to Lose

Parents are increasingly struggling to repay federal loans they’ve taken out to help cover their children’s college costs, according to newly released federal data.

The Parent Plus program allows parents to take out essentially uncapped amounts to cover college costs, regardless of the borrower’s income or ability to repay the loan. As the cost of college has risen, the program has become an increasingly critical workaround for families that max out on federal student loans and can’t pay the rest out of pocket.

Default Data on Parent PLUS Loans

The national default rate for Parent PLUS loans has nearly tripled in recent years, but it remains well below the

default rates for other federal student loans, according to data released for the

rst time last week by the U.S.

Department of Education.

Of all parent borrowers whose PLUS loans entered repayment in the 2010

scal year, the data show, 5.1

percent were in default three years later. That

gure has risen steadily from the 1.8 percent default rate for the

cohort of borrowers in the 2006

scal year.

Parents don’t regret this decision, but maybe they should

Parents often try to do what’s bestfor their children, including helping with studentloans and college tuition — but at what

costto them?

About 47% of parent cosigners felttheir children’s student debt had affected their retirement, according to a survey of 850

parent cosigners. More than 62% said their credit scores were negatively affected by cosigning private studentloans, and

40% said their decision to cosign has hurttheir ability to qualify for other types ofloans, such as a mortgage or car. Still,

The disturbing trend of people losing Social Security benefits to student debt

To recoup student-loan debt, the government is leaving people who rely on Social Security with benefits that

fall below federal poverty guidelines, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday.

The number of older Americans defaulting on education loans has steadily increased in recent decades, as many

have returned to college or co-signed loans for family members. Unpaid debt has resulted in the government

garnishing the benefits of 114,000 people age 50 and older in the past year, more than half of whom were

Prioritize Your Job's 401(k) Benefits Over Their Offers of Student Loan Help

Americans are shouldering around $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, and around 70% of college students who earn a bachelor’s degree borrow to attend college, according to research from Oliver Wyman, a consulting firm that focuses on banking. An employee benefit that’s gaining popularity could help ease that burden, but it may not be as good of a deal as employees think.

Didn't get as much financial aid as you'd hoped? You can negotiate for more

What we now know about who struggles with student debt

Older African Americans and college students with children disproportionately bear the burden of education debt, according to a pair of reports released this week that researchers say show the need for more nuanced solutions from higher education.

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"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."
– Marie Curie
"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."
– Irwin "Professor" Corey
"Bankruptcy laws allow companies to smoothly reorganize, but not college graduates burdened by student loans."
– Robert Reich
“What I would like to do... once I take care of all my kids' student loans, is buy a red 1965 Mustang and fully restore it.”
– Mike Quigley
The road to success is always under construction
– Lily Tomlin
“This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.”
– Earl Wilson
"There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt."
– P. T. Barnum