if i get a student loan, will my credit score be a factor?

Yes and no.

It all depends on the type of loan that you get.  (To better familiarize yourself with student loans, check out this post titled “I Need All The Information I Can Get About Student Loans!”)

The nutshell is that there are two types of loans: Federal Loans (backed by the US Government) and Private Loans (from banks, credit unions or other lending institutions).

If you are applying for a Federal loan such as a Stafford loan or Perkins loan, your credit history will not be checked.  They understand you probably don’t have much, if any, credit history, so there’s no point in checking.

However, if your parents take out a Federal loan on your behalf such as the PLUS loan, their credit will be checked.  Although it will be checked, the only reason they would be denied was if their credit was absolutely horrible.  The main thing they want to see is that they don’t have late payments and pay their bills on time.

When it comes to private loans, your credit will be a factor.  Again, these are loans given from banks, which are not backed by the government, so they have more risk involved if you don’t pay back the loan.  Getting a student loan from a bank is not much different than getting a car loan from a bank.  There is a certain amount of risk involved with lending money to someone your age, so they will certainly look at any credit history you may have to help with that decision.

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