Some may say that paying off debts builds character. Some could argue that debt can be so crushing that it will not allow for the borrowers to flourish. Maybe it’s not right to pay off all the debt, but no one wants to see their child suffer. So, how can parents help their kids pay off college?

Over 40 million Americans are suffering from student loans. With Christmas around the corner, it hard watching these student loan borrowers struggle to make ends meet. Parents who can afford it are trying to figure out the best way to help out their children. The argument becomes, should they? Some may say that paying off debts will build character. Some could argue that debt can be so crushing that it will not allow for the borrowers to flourish after college. Either way, you split it, maybe it’s not right to pay off all the debt, but no one wants to see their child suffer. So, how can parents help their children pay off college?

Some of the more reasonable approaches would be to contribute a certain amount monthly to your child’s student loans. This won’t break your bank because it will just be whatever you can afford and whatever you offer will make a big difference in your life. You don’t realize how much of a different $50 can make until you don’t have a spare $50 every month.

Another approach you can take with your child is to match their payment monthly. If they make the minimum payment where your half will pay off their monthly bill that’s great. But if they can afford to pay a little extra you can match that extra amount. Make sure you tell your child to have that extra amount applied to the principal balance, otherwise, some servicers will credit it to the next month. Which will slow down the payment of the loans, not speed them up.

If you’re pretty well off, you can consider just giving your child a lump sum of money to pay off a large portion of the loan. This will make the loan more manageable and should let your child be able to take it from there. With debts so high and the average debt, students leave college with over $30,000 it might be a little unrealistic to assume you can write your child a check that will make a big enough dent in their debt to make a true difference.

Finally, if you can’t help financially but you still want to assist somehow. Talk to your child about income-based repayment plans. Sometimes to get through the holidays with a little less stress, borrowers will apply for a temporary forbearance.

No matter which approach you choose to take or which tax bracket you fall under. There is a way to help your child so they don’t drown in debt. There is relief out there waiting for you and your child, you just have to reach out and grab it.