Hitch Logo

The 529 Plan: Unlocking the Power of Education Investment


Jun 30, 2023



Education is one of the most valuable investments we can make for ourselves and our loved ones. As the cost of education continues to rise, it's essential to plan ahead and find effective ways to save. One powerful tool for education savings is the 529 plan. In this article, we will explore what a 529 plan is, how it works, and the benefits it offers to families and individuals seeking to secure a brighter future for their children.

Understanding the 529 Plan

A 529 plan is an investment vehicle designed specifically for education savings. Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, this plan provides individuals with a tax-advantaged way to save for qualified education expenses. The funds accumulated in a 529 plan can be used for various educational purposes, including college tuition, room and board, textbooks, and even K-12 tuition in some cases.

How does it work?

There are two main types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and college savings plans. Prepaid tuition plans allow you to lock in today's tuition rates for future use, while college savings plans function more like an investment account, enabling you to grow your savings over time. Each state offers at least one type of 529 plan, and you are not restricted to your home state's plan, giving you the freedom to choose the plan that best suits your needs.

Benefits of a 529 Plan:
  • Tax advantages: One of the most significant advantages of a 529 plan is the potential for tax savings. Contributions to a 529 plan are made with after-tax dollars, but the funds grow tax-free, meaning you won't owe any taxes on the investment gains. Additionally, qualified withdrawals from a 529 plan are also tax-free, allowing you to maximize your savings.

  • Flexibility: Unlike other educational savings options, 529 plans provide flexibility in terms of the eligible educational institutions and expenses. You can use the funds at most accredited colleges and universities across the United States, as well as some international institutions. Additionally, you can also use 529 plan funds for expenses beyond tuition, such as books, supplies, and even certain room and board costs.

  • Control and ownership: With a 529 plan, you retain control of the funds you contribute. The named beneficiary of the plan, typically your child or grandchild, has no legal claim to the assets. You have the authority to change the beneficiary, transfer the funds to another eligible family member, or even withdraw the funds for non-educational purposes (though this may incur taxes and penalties).

  • Potential financial aid advantages: When determining financial aid eligibility, federal aid formulas generally consider parental assets more favorably than student assets. Since a 529 plan is considered a parental asset, it may have a lesser impact on financial aid eligibility compared to assets held in the student's name.

The 529 plan is a powerful tool that empowers individuals and families to save for education expenses efficiently. With its tax advantages, flexibility, and potential for financial aid advantages, the 529 plan provides a pathway to secure a brighter future for your loved ones. By taking advantage of this savings vehicle, you can ensure that the burden of education costs is lessened, allowing your children or beneficiaries to focus on their studies and achieve their educational goals without financial stress.

Consider Hitch to Help Leverage Your Home’s Value

If you are looking for financing for a down payment on a new home, consider unlocking your existing home’s true value with a HELOC from Hitch!

Borrow from yourself, not the bank!

See your equity and HELOC rate in seconds

Equal Housing Lender

Hitch, Inc. NMLS #2383367 #2383367

2158 NW Toussaint Drive. Bend, Oregon 97703

1. Qualified applicants may borrow up to 95% of their home’s value. This does not apply to investment properties.

2. HELOCs have a 10-year draw period. During the draw period, the borrower is required to make monthly minimum payments, which will equal the greater of (a) $100; or (b) the total of all accrued finance charges and other charges for the monthly billing cycle. During the draw period, the monthly minimum payments may not reduce the outstanding principal balance. During the repayment period, the borrower is required to make monthly minimum payments, which will equal the greater of (a) $100; or (b) 1/240th of the outstanding balance at the end of the draw period, plus all accrued finance charges and other fees, charges, and costs.The lender will calculate this amount by taking the outstanding Account Balance on the last day of the draw period and dividing it by 240 months and then adding any finance charge that accrues but remains unpaid during the monthly billing cycle plus any other fees, charges and costs to the fixed principal payment that is due. During the repayment period, the monthly minimum payments may not, to the extent permitted by law, fully repay the principal balance outstanding on the HELOC. At the end of the repayment period, the borrower must pay any remaining outstanding balance in one full payment.

3. The time it takes to get cash is measured from the time the Lending Partner receives all documents requested from the applicant and assumes the applicant’s stated income, property and title information provided in the loan application matches the requested documents and any supporting information. Most borrowers get their cash on average in 21 days. The time period calculation to get cash is based on the first 4 months of 2024 loan funding's, assumes the funds are wired, excludes weekends, and excludes the government-mandated disclosure waiting period. The amount of time it takes to get cash will vary depending on the applicant’s respective financial circumstances and the Lending Partner’s current volume of applications. Closing costs can vary from 3.0 - 5.0%. An appraisal may be required to be completed on the property in some instances.

4. Not all borrowers will meet the requirements necessary to qualify. Rates and terms are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility. This offer is subject to verification of borrower qualifications, property evaluations, income verification and credit approval. This is not a commitment to lend.

5. The content provided is presented for information purposes only. This is not a commitment to lend or extend credit. Information and/or dates are subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to credit approval. Other restrictions may apply.