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With both 401k and Education saving Plans, all growth is tax-deferred. 

Proceeds from a Education Plan used to pay educational expenses are exempt from federal taxes. But 401k contributions are made in pre-tax dollars while Education Plans have to be funded with after-tax dollars.

Most parents will be in a better position to help their kids with college costs by maximizing their 401k and then taking a early withdrawal for their 401k plan to pay for Education expenses.

Down Payments – Get Creative

By: Sergio Haros

One of the biggest hurdles to buying a home is the down payment. Saving up a chunk of change can be difficult, so getting creative is a key.

Down Payments

The amount of your down payment is dependent upon many potential issues, but two come to the forefront. Each of these can reduce or increase the amount of cash you have to come up with for the home of your dreams.

1. Credit Score – Generally, the better your score, the lower the down payment.

2. Price – The selling price of the home is key because the down payment is expressed as a percentage of the home price or appraisal amount.

Either way, the down payment can amount to a serious chunk of change. For many first time buyers, this is a huge hurdle to overcome. They skimp and save everything they can, but saving up many thousands of dollars can take time and be frustrating. Fortunately, many first time buyers have already been saving up for their down payments, but don’t realize it.

Getting Creative

The Bank of You – The federal government looks very favorably on home ownership. This means it makes every effort to promote the real estate market through incentives and tax breaks. Once such incentive is a unique little twist built into the laws controlling 401k savings plans. The tweak in these laws allows you to…well, borrow from the bank of you.

With most 401k plans, you have the right to borrow up to 50 percent of the vested amount of your account. If you’ve managed to save $50,000 over the years in your 401k, you can take a loan from the account for up to $25,000. This, of course, should be used for the down payment on your home. After getting into the home, you can simply pay off the 401k loan over five years or you can take out a home equity loan and repay it with that money.

In essence, you have used your 401k money to play a shell game with the down payment. In the end, this creative down payment funding strategy gets you over the down payment hurdle and into your home.

Sergio Haros is with - a San Diego mortgage brokers providing San Diego home loans. Visit to learn more about options on San Diego mortgages from a San Diego mortgage broker company.

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