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Parents Do Not want to reveal income to each other.

YikesAlreadyYikesAlready 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
As parents, to our only child, we live together but have always kept our finance information separate from each other. Neither one of us wants to reveal our assets or financial income as we don't co-mingle our money or file taxes together. How do we keep each other from knowing our financial and tax information when we fill out college applications, FASAS, or any other form that usually requires this info? We have basically live separate lives under the same roof.
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Replies to: Parents Do Not want to reveal income to each other.

  • ScienceGirlMomScienceGirlMom 414 replies23 threadsRegistered User Member
    Hire a professional to fill out all of the forms for you.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9154 replies492 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You put aside your secrecy for the sake of your kid. Or, don’t fill out FAFSA. If you’re too wealthy for her to get FA anyway, then you don’t have to complete it.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74366 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 17
    Easiest solution....do not have this student apply for need based aid at all.

    Does your child NEED need based aid? If so, one parent and a child will need FSA ID numbers to complete the FAFSA. The income and assets of BOTH parents will be required on the financial aid forms.

    Sure, you could hire a third party to do this...and have only one parent show up at a time to provide information. But at the end of the day...the Info from both parents will be on both the FAFSA and Profile...oh...and you will need to do this annually.

    If your child needs the Direct Loan, the kid will also need that FSA ID number to deal with this loan. And if your kid has the FSA number, he or she could access the FAFSA.

    You file your taxes separately. Since you reside together, both parent incomes and assets are required on the financial aid forms. You can not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, so your kid will be selected for verification and you parents will both be required to provide tax transcripts...so get ready to get those.

    I think the best solution to your issue is to find colleges that are affordable with only merit aid awards, or are otherwise affordable. That way...your finances won’t need to be used at all.

    Have you two parents agreed on a way to fund college costs? You need to come to an agreement on that too.

    And as noted above, if your incomes are above a certain threshold, you wouldn’t qualify for need based anyway.
    edited August 17
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20723 replies1996 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    You need to pick your poison. If you as adults don’t want to disclose your individual income and assets to each other or on the FAFSA and/or other financial aid forms then your child will not receive need based financial aid.
    You will be full pay.

    You will now need to sit down with your child and let him/her know how much each of you are willing to pay for college and help your child find affordable options within the financial parameters that you have set.

    If your child has the stats for merit money, then you must help your child find schools where s/he would be an attractive candidate for merit in combination with a place where your child would be happy to attend.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If the family wants access to Direct Student Loans, PLUS, the FAFSA needs to be completed. Also some scholarships require a completed FAFSA even if need is a very small consideration if at all in getting it. Also, some schools are doing initiatives that have widened the income levels for eligibility for financial aid. Rice and JHU come to mind. Some schools like Princeton give finances aid at levels that include high incomes. So, yes, it is possible that a family in this situation would want to apply for aid.

    But that leaves you with some choices to make. Simply foregoing the application is the simplest. You and spouse each agree how much you can give each year for college, and that’s the budget with some scholarship reaches maybe added there at schools that give them and the student might have a shot.

    Or you hire an accountant or other such person to fill out the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE for you and pinky promise each other you won’t peek. Frankly, it’s not all that difficult to find out about someone’s financials if living under same roof if one is so motivated so there is likely an unspoken (or outright discussed) deal in place
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  • cshell2cshell2 439 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    Don't apply for financial aid I guess. You're not required to. Keep in mind though, that some schools require the FAFSA to be filled out even to get merit aid.

    Personally, I would just suck it up for the sake of my kid (and my pocketbook). I have two son's and two ex husbands (one that I am not amicable with at all) and we have all sat down and gone over sensitive stuff like this at times.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11344 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some tax credits can only be taken if you file taxes married jointly.
    But your income might be too high for it anyway.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8843 replies325 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 17
    How do we keep each other from knowing our financial and tax information when we fill out college applications, FASAS, or any other form that usually requires this info?

    You don't unless you're willing to risk financial aid fraud. Since you live together you're both required to sign the forms certifying that the information is correct. How can you do that if you don't know what's in them?

    If you're not married and you're living separate lives one of you could move out. Then the only income and assets that have to be reported on the FAFSA are those of the parent your kiddo lives with the most. If you're married and living separate lives that's a different issue.
    edited August 17
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  • thumper1thumper1 74366 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Since you live together you're both required to sign the forms certifying that the information is correct

    Not true. Only ONE parent needs to “sign” the FAFSA and Profile forms.

    But for this student...the incomes and assets of both parents MUST be listed on the financial aid application forms because the parents live together. It doesn’t matter how they keep their money separated. The rules require BOTH.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8843 replies325 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The point is that somebody has to sign that the information is correct. If the parents don't trust each other enough to show each other their financial information why would either blindly sign a form stating that the other reported correctly?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    They can both sign. If they want the money badly enough. If NPCs indicate $25 k a year of financial aid likely and kids stats good for full need met school, we are talking about $100k at stake of free money.

    Believe it if not, there are a number of like cases. They get tax preparer or other neutral person to prepare documents. They then blindly sign. It’s done for tax returns too because married filing separately is not a tax favorable status. Each person presents info separately and then they sit and sign without looking at the info.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74366 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @cptofthehouse
    They can both sign

    Where? There is only one “parent signature” spot on the FAFSA and Profile.

    There is nothing in the OP that indicates these parents are married...it says they have been living together and haven’t commingled their finances. That’s it.

    @YikesAlready I stick by my initial advice. If you really want to keep you finances a secret from the other parent...then the best thing to do is NOT apply for need based aid. Look for affordable options either with merit aid..or colleges that you simply can afford. These won’t take your finances into consideration...at...all.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    They can both sign in that spot or flip as to who signs and alternate each year.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74366 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Only one FSA iD can be entered in that spot. I supposed the could print it out and add a handwritten second FSA ID, but really....only one is on the form.
    Agreed, they could alternate.

    If the parents plan to complete the form themselves, they will need to get the student FSA ID number....which is something the student is supposed to get, and hit give to others. But I guess this family is planning to do it all.

    If the student takes the Direct Loan, will the parents also do the entrance counseling and loan acceptance instead of the student doing so?

    And once the student graduates, will the parents then give the FSA ID number to the student...or not?

    They are weaving a very odd web....remember the student electronically signs as well.

    Like I said...easiest thing is...just don’t apply for need based aid. Problem solved.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The kid can apply for his ID and sit with the paid preparer and give his info and then each of the parents can. Believe it or not, there are a number of families who pay to get FAFSA and PROFile completed. A number of tax preparers will do this as a paid service.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74366 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If the kid has the FSA ID, the kid can log onto the FAFSA at any time. Since the parents didn’t file jointly, they can’t use the DRT...so the income will be hand entered, and will be clearly visible.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11344 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You can't run a net price calculator if you don't have both parents' income and asset information.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41787 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do our need financial aid?
    Do you hope for merit aid?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It doesn’t take a whole lot to get income and financial info on someone, if one truly is Motivated. And Every kid can get access to FAFSA info that lays out the parental info. Surprisingly most don’t seen all that interested. In fact, many kids barely complete their portion of the FAFSA. The parents around here often fill it out or sit there with the kid with prompts as kid does. Hopefully,it’s reviewed with the kid and kid signs it. I have always insisted that my kids fill out their stuff but sometimes they needed more help and push than I wanted to give. And they had no interest in checking out the form thereafter.

    I’ve known and know families where parents do live together, but one spouse knows little about the other’s finances, even if they are joint for the most part by state law. Not just the stay at home spouse either. My one neighbor who owns a business swears he has no idea what he makes. Wife is an accountant, does the business and family financial books , and he doesn’t get involved. For that matter, my father handed over his pay check and any other money that came into our household back in the day, and she ran the budget.

    It’s far more common than many believe. Not saying I advocate this, but it is just that.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74366 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This separation of finances might be more common than we believe...but it can’t work for completing the FAFSA and Profile.

    Sorry...but it will take hoops and hoops to get it done with all this secret stuff.

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