Ask Terry Questions 529 Plans, State of Illinois

529 Plans, State of Illinois

By Terry Savage on October 25, 2016 | College Savings / Student Loans

Please give me your opinion of Illinois' 529 Plans. In particular, what do you think of the Bright Start program?

Terry Says

OK, here goes -- once again!  You get a small tax deduction against your Illinois state income taxes for contributing to an Illinois plan.  But the performance of the plan, and the costs, could easily offset this tax break.  Go to and click on the front-page article about 529 plan ratings.  Illinois does not appear in the top 10 for the past year, or for the past 3 years.   (It was in the top 10 for the 5-year ratings.) Remember, you can use any state plan (although you won't get a tax deduction for an out of state plan).  And your children can use the money for any school in any state.  Now, the choice is up to you. BUT,  I would NOT use the Illinois prepaid tuition plan (CollegeIllinois) because of the state's financial woes.



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