College on a Dime: Don't you dare touch your home equity to pay for college


AOL Money & Finance writer and editor Zac Bissonnette is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an expert on getting a great education without going broke. Got a college question? Leave a comment and he'll get back to you!

JPMorgan Chase is dedicated to helping you pay for your child's college education, while making its shareholders billions in profits in the process. Sadly, one of the techniques that Chase suggests for financing education can be hazardous to your wealth. From the website:

A Chase Home Equity Loan or Chase PremierSM Home Equity Line of Credit can provide a simple, flexible solution to the challenge of financing a higher education. With great rates and an easy online application, you'll receive a response to your college financing request in minutes.

I know: you want to help your kid pay for the education of his dreams, and you'd sell your blood to the Red Cross if you could. But the reality is that, if taking out a home equity loan is the best option you have for college financing, it is one that you can't afford. Your home is your nest egg and if you don't have any assets to tap outside of that and retirement funds, you simply cannot afford to help your kids pay for college. If you are financially secure enough to use your home equity that way, you also have other funds you can use.

It's great to help your kids pay for college but remember: they have lifetimes of work ahead of them, and you absolutely must put your own retirement needs ahead of your kids.