It's springtime and students are graduating, looking forward to their next step in life. Some are high school seniors about to embark on a brand new experience and obtain a college education. Others are graduating from college and about to enter the proverbial real world - with real jobs, real responsibilities and unfortunately, a lot of real debt. Preparing for these life steps are important, and proper planning can help ease some of the burden. College savings plans, such as 529s, student loans and overall responsible spending and investment plans can relieve some of the stress and provide assistance in repaying the debt. As a credit union, helping your members successfully manage their higher education debt represents a big opportunity to help them not only plan for but survive one of the biggest expenses in their lifetime.