Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Chase brings back limits on Cardholders’ right to sue. Also in the news: 5 getaways within reach using Southwest’s latest sign-up bonus, how to save for retirement and pay your student loans at the same time, and 8 pieces of financial advice from college commencement speakers.

Chase Brings Back Limits on Cardholders’ Right to Sue
Binding arbitration has returned.

5 Getaways Within Reach Using Southwest’s Latest Sign-Up Bonus
Quick tickets for new customers.

How to save for retirement and pay your student loans at the same time
A budget that pays for the past and saves for the future.

8 Pieces of Financial Advice From College Commencement Speakers
Money lessons and career tips.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 reasons to line up a loan before visiting a car dealer. Also in the news: 6 things to know about student loans before you start school, 5 tips to boost your credit card rewards, and why investor interest in CDs is rising.

5 Reasons to Line Up a Loan Before Visiting a Car Dealer
Protecting yourself from the finance department.

6 Things to Know About Student Loans Before You Start School
Important details.

Watch Your Credit Card Rewards Pile Up With These 5 Tips
Even more rewarding.

Why Investor Interest in CDs is Rising
Choosing the security of fixed-interest.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The average credit score is rising. Also in the news: 3 money-saving tips for buying a washer, a statute of limitations on student loans, and why you should always buy airfare on a credit card.

Credit Scores Are Rising — Is Yours, Too?
Every little bit matters.

Want to Clean Up? 3 Money-Saving Tips for Buying a Washer
Don’t get hung out to dry.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Student Loans?
The answer is complicated.

Always Buy Airfare on a Credit Card
Additional protection.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you shouldn’t give up on public service student loan forgiveness. Also in the news: The life-changing magic of working a bit longer, why your financial aid may plummet after freshman year, and 7 thoughtful and unique graduation gifts — all under $25.

Don’t Give Up on Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The odds are slim, but still worth trying.

The Life-Changing Magic of Working a Bit Longer
It’s worth it.

Why your financial aid may plummet after freshman year
How you can prepare.

7 thoughtful and unique graduation gifts — all under $25
Celebrate without going broke.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 steps to reaching financial freedom. Also in the news: How to furnish your new home without breaking the bank, growing your garden with only a little green, and how to compare and decipher college financial aid offers.

5 Steps to Reaching Financial Freedom
One step at a time.

You Got the House! Now, How Do You Afford to Furnish It?
How to avoid overpaying.

Grow Your Garden With Only a Little Green
You want a garden, not a money pit.

Accepted to college? How to compare and decipher financial aid offers
Making sense of it all.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 8 ways to keep your travel credit cards working for you. Also in the news: Baby steps can get your credit life rolling, how one-way flights could be just the ticket when booking with miles, and 6 things to know about student loans before you start school.

8 Ways to Keep Your Travel Credit Card Working for You

Baby Steps Can Get Your Credit Life Rolling

Booking With Miles? One-Way Flights Could Be Just the Ticket

6 Things to Know About Student Loans Before You Start School

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Planning to work into your 70s? Why you need a Plan B, too. Also in the news: How your income can peak before you’re ready, college-bound students could face $37,400 in loans, and how to sell or recycle your old electronics.

Planning to Work Into Your 70s? Why You Need a Plan B, Too
Strategies to keep in mind.

Your Income Can Peak Before You’re Ready
How to prepare for stagnation.

College-Bound Students Could Face $37,400 in Loans. Here’s How to Ease the Load
Projected annual borrowing is on the rise.

How to Sell or Recycle Your Old Electronics
Good for your wallet and our planet.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to buy (and skip) in May. Also in the news: Early retirees share hard lessons learned, a student loan partial financial hardship calculator, and why you should research mortgage lenders the way you research restaurants.

What to Buy (and Skip) in May
It’s a good time for furniture shopping.

Early Retirees Share Hard Lessons Learned
What they’d do differently.

Student Loan Partial Financial Hardship Calculator
Determining if you qualify.

Research Mortgage Lenders the Way You Research Restaurants
Don’t end up with an unsatisfying lender.

Q&A: Facing retirement with parent student loans? Transfer them to the kids

Dear Liz: I’m 60. Should I take a $50,000 distribution from my 401(k) to pay down my $146,000 parent Plus college loan and then try to refinance the balance with a private lender at a lower interest rate? I have $364,000 in my 401(k). I’m paying 8% interest on the parent Plus loan and planning to retire at age 66 years and 10 months, my full retirement age for Social Security.

Answer: Are you sure you can afford to retire?

You would still have a massive amount of education debt even after paying it down, plus a smaller nest egg. Unless you have a substantial amount of savings outside your 401(k) or another source of income besides Social Security, you could run a substantial risk of running short of money even if you can persuade a private lender to refinance your debt.

That may not be the best option, in any case. Federal loans have more consumer protections, including deferral and forbearance options and income-contingent repayment plans that could lower your payments.

Refinancing with a private lender might make the most sense if you can transfer this debt to the child or children who benefited from the education. Several private lenders offer this option if the kids have good credit and decent incomes.

In any case, you’d be smart to consult a fee-only financial planner who can review the specifics of your finances and offer advice.