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Consumer debt rising, parents dipping into college savings

May 08, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

Bloomberg recently explained that while consumer credit figures are on the rise, with citizens borrowing $17.8 billion in January, consumer confidence is decreasing, causing people to start dipping into their savings to pay for necessities.  Industry expert Dan Alpert told Bloomberg that despite the spike in borrowing, retail sales are only slightly up, proving that confidence has not risen. "People who had cash saved up for their kids' education are finding themselves in a more difficult situation," Alpert said. The source explained that after parents start borrowing from college savings accounts, many are taking out student loans, as nearly every student of any age qualifies. Money Crashers reported that having to choose between adding funds to a college plan or paying off a mortgage is something that many Americans have had to face since the recession. The source supports not dipping into college savings accounts, as the financial future is uncertain and there is no guarantee parents will be employed when their children go off to college. The growing trend of using college savings accounts to pay off other debts or neglecting them altogether will most likely force children to have to rely on lenders when they begin paying for tuition and other academic expenses.