Small Investments Can Go a Long Way

A common misconception when it comes to saving for college is that you need to put away a significant amount of money every month to make a difference. While putting away as much as you can every month is ideal, that number looks a little different for everyone. Saving just $20 a month can make a noticeable difference by helping your future student cover the cost of college and can help reduce future student loan debt.

Maximize Your Investment

There are a lot of ways you can make sure you’re saving as much as possible.
  • Automatic Investing Plan Choose to have a monthly amount funneled to your Bright Start 529 account. An automatic investing plan allows you the peace of mind to not have to mail a check each month. The funds can come directly out of your bank account each month, simplifying your savings process.
  • Lump Sum Contribute on your schedule and your comfort level with one-time deposits. You can make these contributions as often as you like. If your child receives birthday or holiday cash consider sending a check to deposit into your Bright Start account.
  • Roll Over Roll funds from an out-of-state 529 plan into your Bright Start 529 account to keep all your funds in one place. And, Illinois taxpayers can earn an Illinois state income tax deduction when rolling over.1
  • Payroll Deduction Choose to have your contribution taken straight from your pay check each pay period. Check with your employer for availability.

1 The State of Illinois offers an income tax deduction of up to $10,000 ($20,000 if filing jointly) for contributions to Bright Start. The Illinois Administrative Code provides that in the case of a rollover from a non-Illinois qualified tuition program, the amount of the rollover that is treated as a return of the original contribu­tion to the prior qualified tuition program (but not the earnings portion of the rollover) is eligible for the deduction for Illinois individual income tax purposes.back