Can Student Loans Help Improve Your Credit Score
While missing student loan payments can lower your credit score, consistently paying on time helps build a positive payment history, says Black.
Adding another account to your credit report can also help you if you have a thin credit file, Black adds. Having a student loan could improve your credit mix, which makes up 10% of your FICO score calculation. A good credit mix could increase your credit score and show lenders that youre able to handle multiple types of credit.
And, as time passes and your student loan gets older, the average age of your credit accounts increases, which can also provide you with a small credit score boost.
Of course, this all depends on you regularly making payments on time. Kantrowitz recommends setting up AutoPay with your private lender or federal loan servicer. That way, you wont have to try to remember to make your payments each month, and you reduce the chances that youll end up paying late or worse missing payments altogether.
Not only are you less likely to be late with a payment, but many lenders offer an interest rate reduction when you enroll in AutoPay, Kantrowitz says. You typically see a 0.25 or 0.50 percentage point reduction as an incentive.
How To Avoid Student Loan Default
If youre struggling to make your payments, here are some options that could help you avoid student loan default:
Keep in mind:
If you decide to refinance your student loans, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your situation. Credible makes this easy you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 5EDvestinU Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 7ISL Education Lending Disclosures
How Your Credit Score Is Determined
Your credit score, which indicates to a lender how likely you are to make or miss a debt payment, is calculated largely based on your payment history. Other factors, like how much you owe on car loans and credit cards and the length of your credit history, also affect your score. The types of accounts you hold and your recent credit activity make up the remainder of your score.
Generally speaking, this is how your credit score is calculated:
- Payment history
- Length of credit history
- Types of credit accounts
So what happens if the forbearance period on federal student loans ends and you’re unable to make payments? The hard reality is that missed payments will hurt your credit score. What’s less straightforward is how much.
“That’s the impossible question. There is no fixed number of points for any event on a credit report,” said John Ulzheimer, a credit expert who has worked at Equifax and FICO, two of the largest credit scorers.
If your credit record is pristine, a single late payment can pull your score down drastically.
“If you have a fantastic credit report and all of a sudden you start missing payments, the impact will be more dramatic than if you already had bad credit and started missing payments on student loans,” Ulzheimer said.
Carrying debt is harmless to your creditworthiness as long as you make your payments on time and do not default on the loan.
“It’s really an issue of defaults and missing payments when you start to get into a lot of trouble,” he said.
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One: Fill Out The Fafsa
Filling out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, should be the first step for all students looking for student loans.
This application is used by the Department of Education to determine your student loan eligibility, as well as your eligibility for free aid, such as grants and work-study programs.
Completing the application is free and can be done online. Youll need to submit the FAFSA every year youre enrolled in college to review your eligibility.
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How Much Do Student Loans Affect Credit Score
Once you understand how student loans affect your credit score, the question becomes to what extent they do so.
What Percentage of Your Score They Can Affect
It has been established that your loans don’t affect your credit utilization ratio, which makes up 30% of your FICO score. But student loans can affect the following:
- Payment history: This makes up 35% of your FICO score.
- Debt-to-income ratio: This makes up 30% of your FICO score.
- Length of credit history: This makes up 15% of your FICO score.
- New credit : This makes up 10% of your FICO score.
- : This makes up 10% of your FICO score.
They Affect Everyone to a Different Degree
Because of all the factors that go into your credit score, student loans affect everyone to a different degree.
For example, someone with an excellent credit score who misses a payment may find a larger drop than someone with a fair or good credit score.
Remember How Long Late Payments Stay on the Report
As mentioned, late payments will stay on your report for seven years. This means that they will continue to affect your credit score for that long.
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If Your Loan Was In Good Standing
Under normal conditions, federal student loans impact your credit the same way as other loans. Your credit scores improve when you make monthly payments and pay down your balances. But missing just one payment can have a negative impact that lasts for years.
âFor borrowers to protect their credit scores, the most important thing that a borrower can do is keep their payments up to date and avoid delinquency and default,â says Jessica Thompson, vice president of The Institute for College Access & Success .
Fortunately, the suspended federal loan payments are being reported as âon-timeâ payments to the . That means the deferment shouldnât negatively impact your scores.
However, itâs worth checking your credit reports to ensure your servicer reports your on-time payments correctly during the pause. To check all three of your credit reports for free once a week until the end of 2022, you can use the federally authorized AnnualCreditReport.com.
Will Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Hurt Your Credit Score What You Need To Know
Learn what happens to your credit score if $10,000 to $20,000 of your student loan debt gets canceled.
Clifford is a managing editor at CNET. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A’s.
The White House plan to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning $125,000 or less per year could have a big impact on many American households — about 43 million borrowers will be eligible for debt cancellation, and 20 million will have their loans completely paid off.
While removing that student loan debt from your balance sheet may be a good thing for you and your monthly budget in the long term, it could have an unexpected effect on your credit score in the short term. Here’s what we know about how canceling your student loan debt could impact your credit score.
For more, learn the biggest red flags for spotting student loan forgiveness scams and the latest on the extension of the student loan payment pause.
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Check Your Credit If Your Federal Loan Servicer Is Great Lakes
Nearly 5 million borrowers whose federal student loans are serviced by Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. may have seen their credit scores dip because their debts were erroneously reported to the major credit bureaus during the automatic six-month forbearance that began in March 2020.
The borrowers paused payments may have been reported as deferred as a result of a coding error. The paused payments should have been reported as if the borrower had made them. If the borrower was current when forbearance began, for example, the status should be current.
Deferred status is not a scoring factor under FICO credit scoring formulas, the ones most commonly used to make lending decisions. But deferred status can lower the credit scores generated by VantageScore formulas the scores most commonly offered for free to consumers as a way to track their credit history.
Great Lakes says it is working with credit reporting agencies to correct the inaccuracies. Once the information on the underlying credit report is correct, credit scores should be unaffected.
Borrowers should check their credit reports from each of the three credit reporting bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com, the free, government-run website.
Great Lakes asks that borrowers contact it directly if their credit reports are incorrect. Call 800-236-4300. Get more information on contacting Great Lakes customer service or making a complaint here.
Length Of Credit History
Many college students and recent grads dont have established credit histories. Having a student loan can help with that it allows you to build credit history even while youre still in school.
Having an established credit history when you graduate can be helpful, as you may be ready to use your credit to purchase a car or get a credit card with a low interest rate. The length of your credit history makes up about 15% of your score.
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Do You Know How Student Loans Affect Your Credit Score
- Student loans are referred to as installment loans, which means they are paid over time with designated amounts.
- Although considered debt, it will not affect your credit score if you pay increments on time.
- Federal student loan services wait around a minimum of 90 days and private student loan lenders will report a minimum of 30 days. If youre late and it is considered delinquent or default, meaning it has been over 270 days, your credit score will drop.
- After you pay off a student loan, the loan is taken off your credit history.
- If you can’t make student loan payments, consider forbearance to keep you from delinquency, default, or collections.
Can You Get A Student Loan With Bad Credit
It is possible to get a student loan even if you have bad credit or no credit history. That said, it will be more difficult to qualify, and rates will be higher. Federal student loans are the easiest to qualify for, since most wont do a credit check and dont consider your credit score, and interest rates are the same for all borrowers. If you need to borrow private loans, you can look for lenders that have low credit score requirements, take other eligibility requirements into account or let you add a co-signer to your loan.
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How To Have The Least Impact On Your Credit Score
You may be tempted to forgo shopping around for rates and just pick the lowest rate on a website in the hope your credit score wont go down too much. However, you could risk paying more in interest throughout the life of your loan, costing you thousands of dollars.
Just because a website advertises a lower interest rate doesnt mean thats the rate youll be offered. Thats why its important to submit applications to multiple lenders to see what your rate could be and make comparisons that way. Your credit could be affected, but only minimally and temporarily.
What you can do first is find private lenders that offer soft credit inquiries to check rates and submit a full application if you like what you see. Or you can do your rate shopping within 45 days so the inquiries count as only one hard credit inquiry.
If youre applying with a co-signer, know that youll want to talk with them beforehand so you can coordinate completing multiple applications within that 45 day time frame, increasing the chances your score is minimally affected.
Your Credit Mix Will Change
If you’re one of the 20 million borrowers whose student loans would be wiped out entirely thanks to Biden’s plan, you might see your credit score fall a little bit at least in the short term.
That’s because student loans contribute to what’s known as your credit mix. Your credit mix refers to the different types of loans you have, from revolving debt like to installment debt like student loans,car loans and mortgages. Lenders like to see a variety of credit types, and eliminating one type from your profile could have a negative impact on your score.
Your credit mix only accounts for 10% of your FICO score, which is one type of credit score that lenders use to assess your creditworthiness .
Any drop in your score due to a change in your credit mix should be minimal and probably won’t make or break you when it comes to securing new loans down the line. The likelihood of a slight dip in your credit score is worth keeping in mind, however, if you’re planning to finance a major purchase like a house or a car in the immediate future.
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How Does My Credit Score Affect My Ability To Get A Student Loan
Home > Students & Debt > How Does My Credit Score Affect My Ability to Get a Student Loan?
The yearly cost for a college degree can total $50,000 or more, a price tag that requires most students to turn to student loans. Unfortunately, many students worry that their credit score could stand between them and the loans they need to get to graduation.
But theres good news: Having a negative credit score or a lack of credit history by no means prohibits you from receiving loan approval. Instead, credit may determine what types of loans and interest rates are available to you.
Here are options for students concerned about credit:
Your Credit History Could Get Shorter
The other element that might lower your score is a change in the average age of your credit accounts. Student loans are often one of the oldest loans Americans have, since most people take them out when they’re still teenagers.
Closing those longstanding loans could be bad for your credit score since lenders tend to prefer borrowers with longer credit histories. The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO score.
The good news is that as long as you keep making your other loan payments on time, your credit score can rebound relatively quickly, and in all likelihood the temporary hit to your score won’t outweigh the benefits of eliminating the debt.
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How To Shop For A Student Loan Without A Co
Take out federal student loans first. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to get access to federal loans, grants and scholarships. Federal loans should be your first stop: They offer lower interest rates and come with income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness programs.
Build credit before you apply for a private student loan. While undergrads generally dont have the credit history required to get a loan in their own names, graduate students over age 21 might. Youll have the best shot at a private loan with competitive interest rates if your is 690 or above. Strengthen it before applying for a loan by fixing errors on your credit report, paying all bills on time and using as little of your credit limit as possible.
Compare loan features. When shopping for a private loan without a co-signer, compare offers to get the lowest interest rate you qualify for. Note whether the lender will postpone payments in case you have difficulty affording them, and for how long. Find out if there are origination, prepayment or late fees, and how easily you can reach the lender by phone, email or live chat if you encounter a billing or customer service issue.
Opt for a fixed interest rate. Given the choice, a fixed interest rate is a safer bet than a variable interest rate. It wont increase over time.
Keep an eye on the bottom line. Use a student loan calculator to see what kind of payment youll face after borrowing for multiple years.
It’s Better Than Nonpayment But It Can Affect Your Score Indirectly
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No, a student loan deferral by itself does not affect your credit score. However, in certain situations, your credit score would be better off if you would actually avoid taking it. Read on to see how it works.
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Do Student Loans Affect Credit Score And How
Borrowing money to pay for your college education is a common occurrence. Just like with a car or mortgage loan, you are responsible for paying off your debts, interest included. Being a loyal installment payer, you will build a good credit score. This will make you more eligible for future loans and card applications.
The question remains, Do student loans affect credit score?.
To help you build a good report with financial institutions and ensure your credit score remains good, well provide a guide to the following:
- Do student loans affect your credit score?
- How does a student loan affect your credit score?
- Difference between federal and private student loans
- Key factors to consider when you have a student loan
- How to boost your credit score using your student loan