U. S. savings bonds offer a low-risk way for you to invest money for your unborn child’s education. Savings bonds earn interest over a period of 20 to 30 years, depending on the bond. Series EE and Series I bonds can be used to help pay for your child’s education, and the interest on the bond is not taxed by the Internal Revenue Service as long as you use the money to pay for your child’s qualified educational expenses. You must be at least 24 years old on the first day of the month in which you buy the savings bond.
Set up an account through the U.S. Department of the Treasury's TreasuryDirect website. You must provide your name, address, Social Security number, email address and your bank routing number and account number.
Log into your new account and click the “BuyDirect” link. Click the button next to the Series EE or Series I savings bonds.
Enter the amount of bond you want to purchase for your unborn child. For example, if you want to buy a Series EE savings bond with a face value of $5,000, type “$5,000” in the field.
Select your checking or savings account as the source from which to pay for the bond. Click the “Submit” button.
Review the details on the confirmation page to make sure everything is correct. Click “Submit” to buy the bond. Your account will reflect the purchase and list the electronic savings bond
Hold on to the savings bond until your child is ready to start college.
Cash in the bond using your TreasuryDirect account.
Pay your child’s college expenses using the money from the savings bond in the same year that you cashed in the bond. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay taxes on the interest.
File your taxes using the Form 1099-INT you receive from the Treasury Department. Complete Form 8815 to show that the savings bond and interest was used on educational expenses.
- TreasuryDirect: Comparing EE bonds and I Bonds
- TreasuryDirect: Interest Rates and Terms for EE Bonds
- TreasuryDirect: I Savings Bonds Rates and Terms
- TreasuryDirect: Education Planning
- Internal Revenue Service: Publication 970 – Qualified Education Expenses
- Internal Revenue Service: Publication 17 – Education Savings Bond Program
- TreasuryDirect: I Savings Bonds
- To use the bond for your child’s education and not pay taxes on the interest, you must purchase the savings bond in your name, regardless of whether the child is unborn or 17 years old.
- Qualified education expenses include tuition and fees, and not expenses for room and board.
- You can also buy Series I savings bonds using your income tax refund.
- Series EE savings bonds mature in approximately 20 years.
- Series I savings bonds mature in approximately 30 years.
- The Treasury Department issues savings bonds only electronically. As of Jan. 1, 2012, paper bonds are no longer sold.
- As of the date of publication, you cannot avoid paying taxes on the interest if you exceed income limits.
Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.