Illinois 529 College Savings Plan
About: The Illinois 529 College Savings Plan is a 529 plan is a tax-advantaged plan that is used specifically to save for college expenses. There are two types of 529 plans — 529 College Savings Plan and 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan.
Phone #: 1-877-432-7444
Investment Options: Oppenheimer Funds Inc. became program manager in July 2007. The Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program — Direct-sold Plan features a choice of blended portfolios, which combine actively-managed and passively-managed underlying investments, and index portfolios. The blended portfolios are managed by OppenheimerFunds affiliates, Vanguard, and American Century. The index portfolios utilize Vanguard index funds and a money market fund managed by Oppenheimer Funds.
Tax Benefits: Contributions to an Illinois 529 plan of up to $10,000 per year by an individual, and up to $20,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Illinois taxable income. For a rollover contribution, only the principal portion is eligible for the deduction.
The contribution deadline is December 31 postmark. For tax years ending on or between 12/31/09 and 12/31/20, employers may claim a credit against Illinois tax for 25% of matching contributions made to an employee’s account in an Illinois 529 plan, with a maximum annual credit of $500 per employee. Unused credits may be carried forward for five years.
State Residency Requirements: No state residency is required to participate in Idaho 529 College Savings Plans.
Saving for College with Upromise
Upromise is a service that helps individuals save money to pay for college or to pay down existing student loan debt.
Upromise is a great way to save through partnerships with retailers. Similar to a cash back rewards card, this plan puts rewards from retailers into an account that you can use to save money for school or paying down current Sallie Mae serviced student loans.
Once you join Upromise, you simply have to shop at eligible retailers. You can shop online and get anywhere from 1$ to 25% back that is credited to your account. There are more than 600 online retailers, including Target and more, which will give you rewards that can be used for college and tuition expenses.
The beauty of the Upromise program is that you save money for college by simply shopping at the normal stores you visit every day. Upromise was created in partnership with Sallie Mae and is designed to help save for education costs.