Ready to say goodbye to student loan debt for good? Learn More
2020 Best Invention

Will My Bankruptcy Affect My Child's 529 College Saving Plan?

1 minute read Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we'll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool

In a Nutshell

If you've deposited funds into a 529 College Savings Plan for your child, you probably want to know how filing bankrtupcy will affect them. Whether the funds are protected will depend on how long ago you deposited them.

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad
Updated January 26, 2022

Whether the funds in your child's 529 plan are protected when you file bankruptcy depends on how long ago you deposited the funds in the account.

  • If you deposited the funds more than two years before your bankruptcy, the funds are protected.

  • If you deposited the funds 1-2 years before you filed bankruptcy, they're partially protected. The first $6,425 of these funds are protected, but anything above that amount isn't protected.

  • If you deposited funds less than one year before you filed bankruptcy, they aren't protected.

For any unprotected funds listed above, you may still be able to keep some or all of them if your state provides an exemption that you can use to protect them.

Do I Need To List My Child's 529 Savings Account Even Though I'm Just the Signer?

When it comes to 529 plans, there are account owners and account beneficiaries. If you set up the 529 plan for your child, you're the owner and your child is the beneficiary. Unless someone other than you set up the account and is the account's owner, you have to list your child's 529 plan on your bankruptcy forms

Written By:

Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad


Kristin is a recipient of Harvard Law School’s Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship. At Harvard Law, she served as a member of the Harvard Defenders, the Women’s Law Association, and the Harvard Law Negotiation Review. She was the 2016 – 2017 president of the Harvard Bla... read more about Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad

It's easy to get help

Choose one of the options below to get assistance with your bankruptcy:

Free Web App

Take our screener to see if Upsolve is right for you.

Take Screener
12,683 families have filed with Upsolve! ☆

Private Attorney

Get a free bankruptcy evaluation from an independent law firm.

Find Attorney

Learning Center

Research and understand your options with our articles and guides.

Go to Learning Center →

Already an Upsolve user?

Read Support Articles →

Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can't access their basic rights when they can't afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we're fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.