Doug's Credit Center Blog

How Long Can a Student Loan Appear on Credit Report?

In order to attend college or university, many students need to take out student loans. Whether they start to worry about it early on or after they graduate from college, the effect that student loans can have on their credit reports becomes a worry. In fact, they might fret that they won’t be able to get approved for auto financing or a home loan because of the debt.


How It Hurts

All different types of loans exist out there, and some can affect your credit score more than others. Therefore, when you are first starting to look for loans, it’s smart to speak with a financial adviser about the best plans for you. Even if you are already well into college, you can still see what steps you can take to prevent the loans from hurting your credit score in the future. Sometimes, if you are able to start paying them off right away, you can make a better situation for yourself later on.

Late and Missed Payments

Student loans are not necessarily going to have a huge impact on your credit score if you are paying them off on time. They will show up on your credit report for as long as you are paying them off if you are making the payments in-full and on-time each month. However, problems arise when you:

  • Make late payments
  • Do not make payments at all

Sometimes, if it’s just one late payment, the lender will not report it. When these issues become a problem, the credit reporting agencies will be notified.

Defaulting on a Loan

If you just stop making payments on a loan altogether, then you are considered to be defaulting on it. With this situation, we are able to give you a bit more exact of a number. Generally, a defaulted loan is going to show up on your credit report for seven years. Now, if you start making the payments again, you might be able to figure out a way to remove that mark from your credit report. Otherwise, the ability to get an auto loan as a college student or possible graduate will be very difficult.

Ultimately, you want to pay off your student loans in an appropriate fashion. Having a lot of debt is not a “good thing,” but student loans do help you to receive an education and a job!

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