Student Loan Debts – What Does This Mean For Your Credit?
The common mantra, “You get what you pay for” has lead many college students down the road to high levels of debt from student loans that will hopefully provide a brighter financial future for them. However, upon graduation, these students often find that they have such a high level of debt and an entry-level job that does not provide for paying the loans off anytime in the near future. The worry for many of these new graduates now focuses on their credit. After all, a high level of debt has never been great for one’s credit score.
According to statistics, the most difficult part about the future of college graduates with high levels of student loan debt will lie in their ability to obtain credit. Because most recent graduates have a high level of debt and a lower initial salary, creditors will most likely be hesitant to give them access to new credit. Also, if their past credit rating is not good, it will make obtaining credit even more of a challenge.
Because you are a recent college graduate, you student loan debt is probably the largest debt that you have ever had, and this is one of the reasons it is going to effect your credit. Usually, we think of our credit rating in terms of our ability to pay back our liabilities, however, our credit rating also takes into consideration our level of debt. This is why your credit is going to be affected when you graduate and your student loans are high.
If you do intend to take out student loans or you already have them, you should consider determining a plan for paying them off now. A successful payment plan will be instrumental in helping your credit score, especially since your credit score involves the level of debt and your payment history. When you establish a payment plan, you will help yourself financially by promoting healthy financial habits that will only further help your credit score and your financial life in the future.
Also, for those who have student loans and have not yet graduated, one of the best tips for helping your credit and the payment process is to start paying on the interest now. The government usually allows you to wait until after graduation to begin making payments, however it can be surprising how much the loans add up to over time. If you can pay some while in school, do so; and, you will be avoiding costly interest and a larger sum to be paid back upon graduation.
One of the great benefits of a student loans is the grace period that they offer post-graduation, allowing you time to find a job before you need to begin repaying the loans. The typical grace period lasts between 6 to 12 months, however many people find jobs right out of college or before the grace period ends. A good idea for these people is to set aside money to put towards the loan and begin paying when the grace period ends. This way you can pay a larger amount initially and get started on the right track.
After your grace period, you typically have a 10-year period to pay off your student loan. The amount you owe each month will be determined by this timeline; however, you can always and should if possible pay more than the minimum amount due. When you pay more than the minimum amount due, you will obviously pay the balance off faster and you will also pay less interest.
For some people, their student loan payments may be high depending on their level of debt; yet, this does not mean you should skip payments. Instead, the wiser decision is to talk to your lenders and negotiate a payment plan that will work for your situation. If you can demonstrate your willingness to act in good faith, you might be surprised at the lender’s willingness to work with you. Therefore, if your situation requires it, talk with someone today so your credit does not have to be affected because of skipped payments.
The most important thing you need to remember in regards to your student loans and your credit is to NEVER default – NEVER. When you default on your student loan, it could stay on your credit record for approximately seven years. And, if you take too long to pay it back or neglect it, you could be involved in a legal battle. In addition, your lender might have the power to garnish your wages and eliminate your tax refunds.
For many a student loan is necessary and although it may be a tad risky for your credit, there are ways to safeguard your credit and pay off your student loans in the process. Responsibility is key. And, when you are paying them back, prioritize them so that your credit is protected.