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Do you have financial goals for 2021 and are wondering where to start? For more than 30 years, Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, have asked our current account owners for their best advice on saving for their child’s higher education. And for more than 30 years, their responses are always one of two answers: 1) Save early and save often and 2) set it and forget it.
You can follow this guidance by arranging for a 529 direct deposit from your paycheck. With a portion of your post-tax paycheck immediately being transferred to your 529 plan, your college savings account is set to automatically grow (set it and forget it) and continually grow with your regular contributions (save early and save often.)
Setting up an automatic payroll direct deposit is simple to do. Ohio’s 529 Plan uses the same Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer system that you and your employer already use to directly deposit your paycheck to your bank, credit union, and more. This transfer will occur after taxes have been taken out of your check.
Through your employer
First, determine how much you would like deposited from your paycheck into your child’s Ohio 529 Plan. The minimum contribution is $25. Remember, it doesn’t matter if it’s not a large contribution, small amounts can grow over time. It’s more important to save regularly.
Once you have decided how much you would like to direct deposit into your 529 account, follow these steps:
1. Log in at CollegeAdvantage.com and go to your account. Look on the left side of the screen and select “Manage recurring contributions.” Once there, go to “payroll deduction.” Enter the dollar amount you’d like directly deposited and then hit submit. Afterwards select “Get Form” and print the form.
- If your payroll department processes direct deposit: Sign the printed form and hand it over to payroll for processing.
- If you manage your direct deposits through an employee portal: Key the information in that you see on the form. Be sure to list this as a checking account.
2. Monitor and manage any changes to your account online at CollegeAdvantage.com and be sure to follow your employer’s process for any changes. You can adjust accordingly for payroll processing times.
3. If you already do payroll direct deposit and would like to change the dollar amount you’re contributing from your pay, go to “Manage recurring contributions,” then look for “Change payroll instructions” near the bottom of the page. Click on the button and make your adjustments.
Through your bank
If your employer has a limit on how many elections you can have for direct deposit, or does not offer direct deposit, you can set up your own recurring ACH contributions of $25 or more straight from your personal checking or savings account by following these steps:
1. Log in at CollegeAdvantage.com and go to your account. Under “Manage recurring contributions,” select “Add a new recurring contribution instruction.” Choose the dollar amount, and the number of recurring contributions (i.e. weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly), add your personal checking or savings account information and then hit next. On the following page, you can review your elections. Once you have verified them, hit submit.
2. Monitor and manage any changes to your account online at CollegeAdvantage.com.
If you'd like to see how how small changes can add up to big savings, use our tools and calculators. You can see how your college savings goals can change when you make automatic or larger contributions; review the benefits of saving in a 529 plan when compared to a taxable savings account; and consider how saving early as possible promotes growth in the account.
If you're ready to open an account with Ohio’s 529 plan, Visit CollegeAdvantage online to start saving for future college expenses today. Remember, every dollar saved today is a dollar that doesn’t have to be borrowed which makes Ohio’s 529 college savings plan an excellent alternative to student loan debt. Ohio’s 529 Plan helps you with saving for college and with saving on your taxes.
If you need assistance or have questions on either direct deposit or recurring contributions, our Customer Service Department is available to help from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET Monday-Friday at 1-800-AFFORD-IT (1-800-233-6734). If you’d like to do more research, explore Ohio’s 529 Plan —The Plan That Can — at CollegeAdvantage.com.
This article was originally posted in July 2019 and has been updated to reflect new information for 2021.
Posted on January 14, 2021