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.
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When Is Your Information Reported
A federal student loan wont show up on your credit report until you actually take out the loan. Adversely, a private student loan can show up during the application process, as a hard inquiry. Lenders can opt to do a soft inquiry that does not end up on your report or affecting your credit score. This is useful if you are just shopping around. Once you are ready to formally apply for the loan, the lender can do the hard inquiry and this should only impact your score slightly.
It is worthwhile to know that while your federal student loan is in deferment status , it can be listed on your credit report.
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Requirements To Report Student Loans To Credit Bureaus
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires all debts, including private student loans, to be reported on the borrowers credit history. The FCRA does not address federal student loans, which are controlled by the Higher Education Act of 1965. According to the FCRA, defaults may be reported to the credit bureaus 180 days after the date of the default.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 requires federal education loans to be reported to each national consumer reporting agency. Consumer reporting agencies include all three major credit bureaus, namely Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
The reports cover all federal education loans, including those in good standing and those in default. The reports are required to include the total amount borrowed, the remaining balance owed, the repayment status of the loans, the date the loan entered into default and the date the loan was paid in full.
Note that credit performance is reported on the credit history of only the borrower and cosigner. For example, Federal Parent PLUS loans affect the parents credit score, not the students credit score.
Negative information about federal and private student loans remains on the borrowers credit history for 7 years.
How Can Refinancing Student Loans Help Your Credit Score
Refinancing itself wont directly improve your credit score, but if it helps you keep repayment on schedule by lowering your monthly payments, refinancing student loans can help you avoid damage to your credit history.
The best way to lower your monthly payments by refinancing is if you can reduce your interest rate. You can also lower your monthly payments by stretching repayment out over a longer period of time, but this is likely to result in you paying more interest over the life of the loan.
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Monitoring Credit And Repaying Student Debt
Whether you have a federal student loan or a private one, your credit score might be affected in some way. One way to keep track of everything is to monitor your credit with a tool like . You donât have to be a Capital One customer to use CreditWise. Plus, itâs free, and using it wonât hurt your credit score.
You can also learn more about getting free credit reports directly from the three major credit bureaus by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
Navigating student loans and repayment plans can be stressful, but knowing how your credit fits in may help you make more informed decisions. And there are tools from the CFPB and the Department of Education that can help when it comes time to start repaying your loans.
Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.
We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.
Should I Pay Back My Student Loan Early
It is possible to pay back your student loan early, cutting the total amount of interest you pay on your debt.
However, the interest rate on a student loan is are so low that you might find it more profitable to save or invest this money. In some cases, the debt will be wiped before you fully repay it anyway.
As such, its best in many cases to let the loan repayments continue to be automatically deducted from your salary.
Paying back your student loan early will have no impact on your credit score, and little impact on your eligibility for most loans.
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Stay On Top Of Your Credit Score
Paying off student loans isnt fun for anybody. However, its easier to stay motivated if youre able to celebrate your wins and watch your credit score go up over time.
Float Credit allows you to do that, and we even make it fun. Share your credit score, or a simple emoji indicating credit range, with your friends and family. You choose how much information you want to share with others, making it easy to see where your peers are at and build a team of credit-savvy cheerleaders around you to help you reach your financial goals.
Benefits Of Student Loan Consolidation
The cost of higher education has gotten so high that a quarter of all adults in the United States have some form of student loan debt. The majority of students require more than one loan to pay for college, which can make post-graduation payment challenging to manage. Student loan consolidation can simplify things and make it easier to make your payments. It is often easier to budget for and plan around one payment rather than multiple.
Additional benefits of student loan consolidation include:
- Lower monthly payments.
- More time to pay your loan back. You may be able to extend the life of your loan from 10 years to 30 years, for example.
- Saving money over time. Refinancing a student loan to a lower interest rate can decrease the amount you will owe overall.
- Switching to a fixed interest rate from a variable interest rate loan.
- Access to additional repayment options and plans.
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Multiple Credit Inquiries From Lenders
One way student debt can affect your score that you may not immediately think about is through loan applications. Whenever you apply for a loan, the lender will run your credit to make sure youâre reliable enough to eventually pay the loan back. As these credit checks are run, the FICO system may mark that as red-flag activity causing your credit score to drop.
Does Paying Student Loans Build Credit
Paying on time is the most important factor affecting your credit score. You cant get traction without it. Making regular, on-time payments on student loans will help build credit.
If you’ve used only one type of credit before, like a credit card, then having a student loan is good for your score because it helps your But that’s a smaller score factor, so it’s not worth taking out a loan you can’t afford just to have a mix of credit types.
Student loans taken out by parents, such as federal parent PLUS loans and private parent loans, affect only the credit of the person who took them out. So if a parent takes out a federal parent PLUS loan, for instance, to help you pay for school, it affects their credit. A student loan you took out and your parent co-signed, on the other hand, appears on both of your credit files and can affect scores for both of you.
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What Is A Credit Score
A credit score is a number that ranges from 300 to 850 and reflects a person’s creditworthiness. A borrower’s credit score increases the way he or she appears to potential lenders. The figure is determined using information from one’s credit history, such as the number of accounts they have available, the total amount of debt they owe, and their repayment history, among other items. Credit ratings are used by lenders to assess the likelihood of a borrower repaying a loan on time.
An individual’s credit score has a huge effect on their financial condition. It has a big effect on whether or not a lender can give a person credit. People with credit scores of less than 640, for example, are classified as subprime borrowers. In order to compensate themselves for taking on more risk, lending institutions often charge higher interest rates on subprime mortgages than on traditional mortgages. For borrowers with a poor credit score, they might also need a shorter repayment period or a co-signer.
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:
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How Does Refinancing Student Loans Affect My Credit
Its smart to shop around for the lowest rate before refinancing student loans, especially if you can do it without dinging your credit. Either of the following options will keep you from having multiple hard inquiries on your credit report.
Apply for all the loans youre comparing within a 14-day period. Under the FICO credit scoring model, multiple hard inquiries of the same type such as student loan inquiries count as a single inquiry if they happen within a short period. Various versions of the credit scoring model specify different time frames including 14, 30 and 45 days but youll be covered under all of them if you submit all your applications within 14 days.
Get rate estimates through lenders pre-qualification processes. Some lenders let you get a rate estimate that wont affect your credit.
How Student Loans Affect Your Credit Score Positively
Owing debt might automatically seem like a bad thing on your credit history. But, while it certainly can be detrimental to your credit score in some ways, it can actually be helpful in others.
Your payment historys timeliness and consistency on all debts account for 35% of your credit score the most important factor contributing to that magical number. So every time you make a payment on time, youre contributing to a positive history that helps improve your credit score over time.
As long as you can make your student loan payment each month, you can rest easy knowing that youre building a solid credit history and score. Plus, when future lenders look at your credit, theyll note that strong payment history because it indicates youre likely to pay back any new loans as well.
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The Benefits Of Paying Off Student Loans On One’s Financial Position
When someone pays off a student loan boosts one’s overall financial stability, regardless of the immediate effect on their creditworthiness. One could decide to start by celebrating and spending the money they may have sent to the student loan office on a night of fun. However, one needs to choose carefully how they want to invest their money:
Should You Consider Paying A Student Loan With A Credit Card
If you pay your student loans with a credit card using an intermediary, there are some important factors to consider. Making student loan payments on a credit card can have negative consequences, so it’s important to be aware of how this could affect your overall finances. You may:
- Increase your credit utilization ratio. This factor, which refers to the amount of your available credit that you use from month to month, represents about 20% of your credit score. The more you put on your card, the higher your utilization ratio, which can dent your score in the short term.
- Accrue more interest if you carry a credit card balance. Credit cards can have much higher interest rates than student loans. If you don’t pay your monthly card balance in full, you could accrue interest rapidly and even begin paying interest on the accrued interest.
- Limit flexibility for other spending needs. One of the primary benefits of a credit card the ability to make large purchases is reduced if you put hundreds or thousands of dollars of monthly student loan payments on your card.
- Spend more overall. Even if you do everything else right, you may still have to pay fees to your lender for using a credit card. If this fee exceeds the rewards you get on your card, you’ll end up losing money.
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What It Does Not Affect
Because a student loan is an installment loan you pay regularly each month, it has very little effect on the portion of your score that calculates debt usagethe amount of the credit limits youre currently using.
Your is the percentage of your total available credit that youre using. This applies to revolving debt like credit cards, where you can borrow up to a certain credit limit. The takeaway here is that $25,000 in student loan debt is much better for your score than if you have the same amount, $25, 000, in credit card debt. Try to keep your credit utilization low by way of not accumulating credit card debt and your score will thank you.
Do Student Loans Affect Your Credit Score
A student loan doesnt affect your credit score and also doesnt appear on your credit report. If you want to apply for finance in the future, whether its for a loan, credit card or a mortgage, the lender will only know you have a student loan if they ask on the application.
Other types of lending, such as a student credit card or student overdraft will appear on your credit report.
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The Effects Of Defaulting On Your Student Loans
Student loan deferment is always better than going into delinquency or default. A delinquency is reported to the three major credit bureaus after your payment is past 90 days due. The loan goes into default if your monthly payment is 270 days late.
Once the loan is in default, it will likely be sold to a collection agency that can take legal action against you to recuperate the money owed. Plus, the negative item stays on your credit report for seven years and can lower your credit score by 100 points or more.
As if trashing your credit score wasnt bad enough, defaulting on your student loan can have more serious consequences depending on where you live.
Some states have passed laws to suspend your drivers license in the event of student loan default. Other state laws suspend professional licenses, such as health care and cosmetology.
While those decisions dont seem to help someone who has trouble paying student loans, they still, unfortunately, exist in many places. Several state legislatures are working to repeal these laws, so you need to fully research your exact location to understand potential consequences relevant to you.