Small investments can go a long way.

A common myth about saving for college is that it takes a large sum of money each month to make a difference. While it’s ideal to invest as much as you can each month, with Bright Start you can save any amount that works best for you.

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Recurring Contributions

Saving for college is like any other habit. When you do it regularly, it’s easier to keep doing it. When you get out of the habit, time passes and you have to make room in your budget again. Get started with an amount that best matches your budget and revisit it from time to time with an eye to increasing every year.

Set Up Recurring Contributions

Maximize your investment.

There are many ways to use your Bright Start 529 account to get where you want to go. It’s easy to make regular or occasional contributions or both – whatever works best for you and your financial situation.

  • Automatic Investing Plan

    Have a set amount directed to your Bright Start 529 account each month. With funds automatically coming directly out of your bank account each month, the savings process is simplified. No more writing checks or making payments each month – or even thinking about it.

  • Lump Sum

    Make contributions as often as you like – on your schedule and comfort level – with one-time deposits. If your child receives birthday or holiday cash, consider depositing some of that money into your Bright Start account. Or if you receive a tax refund or have excess cash, consider contributing a portion.

  • Roll Over

    If you’ve moved to Illinois from another state, you’ll want to consider rolling funds from your out-of-state 529 plan into your Bright Start 529 account. Plus, when you roll an out-of-state 529 to Bright Start the principal portion (not the earnings portion) of your rollover counts as part of your contributions for Illinois state income tax purposes.1

  • Payroll Direct Deposit

    Streamline the process and have your 529 contribution taken straight from your paycheck each pay period. Check with your employer for availability.