CBSN

How to Save for Your Kids When You're in Debt

Consumer Correspondent Susan Koeppen, Contributor and psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein and CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis shared their expertise on "The Early Show."
CBS
Do you have student loans, but want to prepare for your kids' future? How can you begin saving?

Meghan Bullard, of Cleveland Ohio, submitted that question on "The Early Show" Wednesday morning in our "Ask Early's Experts" series.

She said, "I'm a 36-year-old nurse, two weeks away from having my first child. I have no personal debt, but tremendous student loans. In fact, my last student loan will be due when I'm 65 years old. What kind of investment and/or savings strategies could I do now to make sure that my daughter never has to take out those kinds of student loans?"

CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis answered, "Well, first of all, congratulations. You're really sweet to be thinking about this for your daughter. And unfortunately, you're in a position that so many other people are in. But the good news is you're thinking about it now. That's the important thing: to think early."

She continued, "There's really two different savings plans that you can take advantage of: There are tax advantages to both. The 529 College Savings Plan and the Coverdell Education Savings Plan. You put money in. You have control over the account. And for qualified education expenses down the road when your daughter wants to go to college, you can take the money out tax-free and use it to the advantage of your daughter."

"Also, on the other side of things is yourself and what you're dealing with financially," Jarvis said. "One thing you can consider doing is paying some off that debt down a little bit faster if you're at a position to do it. You'll pay less interest over time if you can do that."

But Jarvis wasn't the only expert answering your questions submitted via Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Consumer Correspondent Susan Koeppen, psychologist and "Early Show" contributor Dr. Jennifer Hartstein also answered viewers' questions on everything, from how to handle critiquing a colleague to how to find affordable fruit in the wintertime. Click on the video below to watch the full segment.