What you need to know about your student loans before you graduate

Student Loans (4)

If you just earned your degree, congratulations! And welcome to your grace period – your student loan grace period, that is. This is the six months after graduation during which you typically do not need to make any payments on your loans. Most student lenders offer this option, and in almost all cases interest keeps accruing on your loans throughout these months. This means you’ll owe more in interest when your payments begin than you would have if you had made payments during grace period. Some of our borrowers ask us: Can any of this have an impact on your credit score?   The answer is that being in grace period itself will probably not have an impact on your score, but the end of grace period might, for some borrowers, have consequences for your credit. Here are two ways … [Read more...]

The scores that count in mortgage lending

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So you consider yourself a well-informed consumer. You have been educating yourself about credit scores, the credit process and how lenders evaluate credit for mortgage loan applications as you are getting ready to purchase a new home. And you already know that understanding your FICO Scores is really important as they are the credit scores most commonly used in the mortgage loan review process.   You’ve pulled your FICO® Scores and credit reports at myFICO to see where you stand, but are not sure on which FICO Score versions you should focus.  Do mortgage lenders use FICO® Score 8 from all three credit bureaus? Or FICO Score 8 from one and FICO® Score 5 from another? I know, it can be kind of confusing.   Let me explain …   When you access your credit … [Read more...]

Word on the web: Don’t let the warm weather put your finances off track

With the energy and joy only warm weather and sunshine can inspire, we’re entering summer with a pension for vacations, beaches, barbeques and fun. See ya later winter. But before you start charging plane tickets and breaking your budget for a brand new grill, let’s take a few minutes to refocus on financial and credit fitness. Here are 4 articles  to help you get focused.   Consumer tips for dealing with debt The first step in managing your debt is acknowledging that you have a problem. The Dollar Stretcher walks you through 9 ways to identify the debt problem and 9 ways to fix it.   How to apply for student loans while minding your credit Applying for student loans certainly won’t ruin your FICO Scores, but it’s important to think about how student debt could have a … [Read more...]

Millennials are saying “no” to credit cards. They’re making a mistake.

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Recent studies by FICO and Bankrate point to a growing trend among Millennials: they're not big on credit cards. To be specific, according to credit data gathered by FICO, the number of 18 – 29-year-olds who didn’t have a single credit card doubled from 8% to 16% between 2007 and 2012. Add to that a survey conducted by Bankrate last year in which a whopping 63% of the 1,161 respondents—also 18 – 29-year-olds—said they don’t have a single credit card.   It shouldn’t come as a surprise that younger Americans are shying away from the prospect of taking on more debt. Millennials are already saddled with over $1,000,000,000,000 in student loan debt (that’s one trillion dollars for those of you who’ve never seen so many zeroes strung together). Consider, also, that they’ve been … [Read more...]

How to Apply for Student Loans While Minding Your Credit

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At CommonBond, we get a lot of questions from student loan applicants who are concerned about how applying for a student loan will affect their credit. The fact is, you can’t ruin your credit simply by applying – the worst that it will do is trigger a hard credit inquiry on your credit reports (more on this below) that affects your FICO® Scores in the short term. Still, there are a few ways you can manage the student loan application process wisely in order to safeguard your future scores.   1. Get as much info as you can from a lender without authorizing a hard credit inquiry   As you may know, there is an important distinction between “soft” and “hard” credit inquiries. Soft inquiries are made by businesses that check your credit report and scores even though you … [Read more...]

Quiz: How well do you know FICO Scores?

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Happy credit education month! Think you know everything about FICO Scores? Now is your chance to test your FICO Score knowledge. Take this quick, fun quiz to see how well you know FICO Scores. Questions range from easy to a little more challenging, and most questions provide a detailed explanation of the answer. Quiz yourself, learn and share with your friends!     … [Read more...]

How student loans affect your FICO® Scores

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Here are some sobering statistics for anyone who recently graduated from college:   1. 70% of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree are leaving school with student-loan debt   2. The average class of 2014 graduate with student-loan debt owed $33,000—earning them the distinction of the most indebted class ever   3. 2014 graduates faced an 8.5% unemployment rate and 16.8 underemployment rate   Recent college grads are leaving school with more debt than ever and entering a job market with fewer opportunities for them to use their degrees and, in turn, pay back their loans.   It’s easy to forgive a young grad buried to the neck in student-loan debt for overlooking the impact of his loan repayment on his FICO Scores. The fact … [Read more...]

New FICO credit education video series: Understanding your credit

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We’re excited to introduce a new education video series from FICO—Understanding Your Credit. We created these three initial short videos to help you understand FICO® Score basics. Watch them and learn what a FICO Score is, how it’s calculated from your credit reports, how lenders use them to evaluate your credit risk, and plenty more!   What is a FICO Score?   Every day, thousands of U.S. lenders use FICO Scores to make more well-informed credit-granting decisions. But what does that mean for you? And why is it important to understand how lenders use them?   This video takes a look at what a FICO Score is and why it matters to consumers and lenders alike. Watch to learn how FICO Scores streamline the lending process, making it faster and fairer for … [Read more...]

5 Smart credit card moves that could help your scores

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We all know the consequences of using credit cards irresponsibly: crushing debt, late and missed payment fees, poor FICO® Scores, bad breath (okay, maybe not one of those).   Of course, using credit cards wisely comes with a number of benefits. In addition to being a secure and convenient way to make payments, credit cards can help you establish and build credit, give you access to valuable rewards, and can even help improve your scores. To help you play the credit card game wisely, here are 5 smart moves to make.   1. Ask for a credit limit increase   Your issuer might occasionally surprise you with an unprompted credit limit increase, but it never hurts to take matters into your own hands if you've been pining for a higher credit line. A limit increase … [Read more...]

5 Big credit mistakes you should avoid at all costs

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When it comes to credit, some people prefer the ignorant bliss method: Don’t look at your credit, don’t worry about your credit, don’t even think about your credit. This method can actually be quite effective for several months or even years – that is until you’re thinking about buying a new home, leasing a new car, financing a new computer, or whatever else you've been dreaming up.   When you’re actually looking for credit, it will quickly become clear that the ignorant bliss method was a mistake. Those financial decisions you carelessly made might actually hurt your FICO® Scores or credit history.   You don’t have to be the type of person that worries about credit constantly (although a periodic review of your FICO® Scores and credit reports is always a good idea). … [Read more...]

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by a credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of a credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a credit card issuer. This site may be compensated by credit card issuers mentioned on the site by such companies.