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Understanding How Student Loans Can Affect Your Credit Score

Due to the increasing cost of higher education nowadays millions of students in the USA take one or more student loans to cope their educational expenses. And there is a growing number of students today who find it difficult to pay off their student loans. Educational loan is probably one of the largest debts most of the students have ever had. How you deal with your student loan can have a huge consequence on your credit rating and, given that your credit rating establishes how much you can borrow in the future, on your financial future as well.

You cannot declare bankruptcy for federal loans; these loans still have to be repaid. Going into default with student loans will affect your car loans, mortgage application, etc. However, keep in mind that it isn’t your student loan that has an effect on your credit score, but the way you handle it. How you manage your student loans today will affect your credit score for years to come.

What Is the Credit Score?

Your credit score plays very important role in financial terms. Essentially, it gives a reflection of your financial responsibility to diverse creditors and lenders, to put it in other words, it helps them estimate the level of risk you present as a borrower to them. For instance, if you don’t pay your bills on time, it sends a message that you lack a financial responsibility.

How Your Credit Score is Calculated?

  • Payment History – Your capability to pay your bills on time without fail makes up 35 percent of your credit score.
  • Credit History – 15 percent of your credit score is depending on the length of time you have been using credit.
  • Amount Owed – The amount of debt you owe makes up 30 percent of your score.
  • New Credit – At 10 percent, frequency of new lines of credit opened is also considered.
  • Types of Credit – Also at 10 percent, the different types of credit cards you possess affect your credit score.

How to Effectively Handle Your Debts

Your credit rating stands for the debts you have and your repayment history. The key for a good credit rating is to make regular payments on time and repay the debts as soon as possible. Here are some useful guidelines to help you successfully cope with your student loans and debts.

Early Student Loans Repayment

Repay your loans as soon as possible. The repayment period for most of the student loans is about 10 years and the monthly amount you have to pay is based on this timeline. If you find that you can afford to make these payments, increase your monthly payments and repay your student loan in the shorter period of time. Not only that paying more than minimum payment will help you repay your loan faster, but also will positively affect your credit score.

Refinancing Student Loans

Refinancing your student loan can be of assistance in getting a low interest rate. In addition, with lower monthly payments, you will be able to pay off your loans on time which will positively affect your credit rating.

Making Regular Interest Payments

In case you have taken an unsubsidized federal or private student loan, you may be required to make interest payments while you are still in school. Include this amount into your monthly financial plan and make your payments in time. If you can, try to avoid deferring interest payments after graduation, when they are going to be added to the principal amount of your loan.

Making the Use of a Grace Period

Student loan borrowers usually have a benefit of 6 to 9 months-grace period after graduation, before they are required to start repaying their loans. This time is designated to let them find a job and to gain a regular income. In case you find a job before during the grace period, it is strongly recommended to put some money aside and make larger payments, which will help you to repay your loan faster.

Avoiding Failure to Make Payments

If you find that you have difficulty making the payments of your student loan, the best idea would be to contact your loan lender immediately and try to work it out together. If your lenders find you communicative and cooperative, they will be more willing to help you find the solution. If you are not able to pay the full amount, make effort to pay smaller payments instead. If you miss your payments, your loan will be considered delinquent. This will come as a negative mark on your credit report.

After you start repaying the loan again, your credit score should improve, but your skipped payments will still appear on your record.

Avoid Defaulting on Your Student Loans

If you fall to make your loan payments, your student loan will become delinquent Successive failure to make loan payments or extensive delinquency may lead into student loan default. Default comes about after 270 days of non-payment on a federal student loan or 120 days of failure to pay on a private loan. Under most federal student loans your loan will be put into default after nine months of skipped payments, and for most of private student loans your loan will be put into default after three months of missed payments, though this depend on the specific loan lender. Defaulting on your student loan can leave a mark on your credit record for up to seven years after your loan is fully repaid. This will have a negative mark in your credit score as a consequence.  To avoid defaulting on your student loan, get your loan refinanced.

For most of the students student loans are helpful assistance in their pursuit for higher education. Not your student loans, but the way you handle them can affect your credit rating both, positively or negatively. To avoid student loans harm your credit score the best is to make a repayment plan and start paying off your debts as soon as possible. Avoid going into default under any circumstances and take into account loan options such as flexible repayment plans, grace period, deference and forbearance to make sure that your student loans do not affect badly your credit score.Careful planning and financial responsibility, will help you not to feel overwhelmed by your student loans.

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