Q: I have an outstanding loan for my oldest child's college tuition. I've received some credit card offers with lower rates than the existing college loan. Should I take one to pay off the college loan? K.H., Binghamton, N.Y.
A: We'd advise against it. If the credit card deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many "special rates" are short term, so read the fine print carefully. Also, accumulating excessive credit card debt is often the first step toward financial ruin. Tip: Depending on your circumstances, a home-equity loan may be a better option. The interest you pay on the first $100,000 of home-equity debt is fully deductible regardless of how you use the proceeds, as long as you're not subject to the alternative minimum tax.
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