How Student Loans Impact Your Credit

If you've finished college within the last few years, chances are you're paying off your student loans. What happens with your student loans now that they've entered repayment status will have a significant impact — positive or negative — on your credit history and credit score.

It's payback time

When you left school, you enjoyed a grace period of six to nine months before you had to begin repaying your student loans. But they were there all along, sleeping like an 800-pound gorilla in the corner of the room. Once the grace period was over, the gorilla woke up. How is he now affecting your ability to get other credit?

One way to find out is to pull a copy of your credit report. There are three major credit reporting agencies, or credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union — and you should get a copy of your credit report from each one. Keep in mind, though, that while institutions making student loans are required to report the date of disbursement, balance due, and current status of your loans to a credit bureau, they're not currently required to report the information to all three, although many do.

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