Do student loans affect your credit score?
Student loans are typically installment loans (like auto loans and mortgages), so they may appear on your credit report and affect your credit score. Over time, making loan payments may boost your score. Missed payments could hurt your score. Be in the know—get a free credit report today.
You may not need to make payments while in school. Once they’re due, paying on time is key.
Student loans may increase your debt-to-income ratio.
Length of history
Depending on your history, student loans may be some of your oldest accounts.
Your credit mix may change when you add more credit products alongside student loans.
Education Costs and Credit
Do student loans require a credit check?
Generally, no credit check is required for federal student loans—except for Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS loans.1 This means you may not need a minimum credit score or any credit history at all to borrow money for educational expenses. However, private student loans usually involve a credit check. While minimum credit scores and other eligibility requirements vary from lender to lender, qualifying for a low-interest private student loan may be harder if you have poor or no credit history.
Consider asking a guardian to add you to an existing credit card account in good standing.
Secured credit cards
These cards are backed by an upfront cash deposit and may help you build or rebuild credit.
Your payment history is an important factor that goes into your credit score.
Balance pay offs
You can often enhance your score by paying down existing debt.
Will student loans affect my credit while I’m still in school?
Typically, student loan payments begin after you graduate. Until then, those loans are considered to be “deferred,” and they may not affect your payment history. However, student loans may appear on your credit report right away.
What is the minimum credit score needed to get a student loan?
Most federal student loans (other than PLUS loans) don’t have a credit score or credit history requirements. Rules for private student loans may vary, but many lenders set a minimum score for you and/or a cosigner.
Could a credit check for student loans impact my credit score?
Generally, applying for a federal student loan (other than a PLUS loan) doesn’t involve any type of credit check. Applying for a private loan may result in a “hard inquiry” or “hard pull” which could temporarily shave a few points off your score.
What happens to my credit score when I pay off a student loan?
Since student loans may impact your account age and credit mix, paying one off may cause a minor, temporary dip in your credit score. Your credit score will likely bounce back as long as you keep paying your other bills on time and in full.