We’re paying too much for college. What to do?

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Q. I think we made a mistake. We said yes to an expensive college for our son where we would both take out loans to pay for it. I’ve lost my job and now I’m nervous about borrowing any money. What should we do?
— Overwhelmed

A. We’re sorry to hear about your job, and you’re right to think long-term about how paying for a costly college will affect your finances.

You didn’t say how much the college was or how much your son was receiving in financial aid.

The first thing to do is file an appeal with his college. Now that you don’t have any income, he may qualify for more aid from the school directly.

Other than taking out more college loans, there may be some other ways to pay the college bills, such as a home equity loan or line of credit.

But without knowing more about your finances, it’s hard to say if that’s a reasonable option for you.

While transferring to a less expensive school is probably not what your son wants to do, it should be a consideration. Otherwise he, and you, could be saddled with even more debt that you initially planned.

Perhaps he could take some classes at a less-expensive community college during the summer to lighten the load of the more costly tuition.

Consider sitting down with a fee-only financial planner who can look at your entire money life and advise you on the options, and what they will cost, in both the short and long term.

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This story was originally published on Oct. 4, 2023.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.