College costs

The time to start saving for college is now, says credit.com, a personal finance and credit-card comparison website. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / December 12, 2013)

If you're expecting, it's time to start saving.

With the majority of college graduates stuck with overwhelming student-loan debt, new parents would be wise to save as early as possible, according to a report by credit.com, a personal finance and credit-card comparison website.

Between 2000 and 2010, the cost of a college education increased 35%, according to the 2011 Digest of Education Statistics. The cost of a private college education is already hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and will likely increase significantly by the time today's baby enters college.

"That’s a price tag no one should ignore, because the longer you wait to save, the more pressed for cash your child will be when he or she graduates  from high school," the website said.

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"While new parents may be focused on the immediate costs associated with welcoming a child into their lives, each passing year leaves less time to save those hundreds of thousands of dollars, and 18 years isn’t a lot of time to build up those reserves in the first place."

Student loans are a great tool when managed responsibly, and paying them on time can actually help new graduates build credit.

"But things get messy when students take out more than they can reasonably expect to pay back and start missing payments," the credit firm said.

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