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Can I Remove Student Loans From My Credit Report?

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In a Nutshell

You can have information on your credit report removed or corrected if it’s not accurate. Three main consumer reporting agencies provide credit reports. Also known as credit bureaus, they are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They have a duty to report your credit history accurately, including student loans and payment histories. While incorrect information can be fixed, you can’t remove information from your credit report that is accurate.

Written by Attorney Jenni Klock Morel.  
Updated June 7, 2021


You can have information on your credit report removed or corrected if it’s not accurate. Three main consumer reporting agencies provide credit reports. Also known as credit bureaus, they are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They have a duty to report your credit history accurately, including student loans and payment histories. While incorrect information can be fixed, you can’t remove information from your credit report that is accurate.

If you’ve defaulted on a student loan, there are steps you can take to get back in good standing and improve your credit score. 

Can Student Loans Be Deleted From Your Credit Report?

After you take out a new student loan, the lender will report it to the three major credit bureaus. Each loan will be listed as a separate account on your credit report. Federal student loans and private student loans may begin reporting while you’re still in school and in deferment. Your credit score won’t be harmed by student loans in deferment, but future lenders could consider your student loan debt when determining creditworthiness.

Once you’re out of school and making student loan payments, your payment history will be reported on your credit report. On-time payments and late payments will both be reported. 

It’s important to monitor your credit report to make sure that your student loan, credit cards, and other consumer accounts are being accurately reported. Incorrect credit reporting can harm your credit scores. You can have multiple credit scores, depending on which calculating software is used and which lender checks your credit score. The most well-known and widely-respected credit score is your FICO score, which takes into account the credit histories reported by the three major credit reporting bureaus listed above. It is particularly important that you monitor activity on your credit histories maintained by each of these bureaus.

Credit scores affect eligibility for future credit and the terms of that credit. Borrowers with higher credit scores can get better interest rates on future loans, credit cards, and other lines of credit. Refinancing federal student loans or private loans is easier for borrowers with higher credit scores and good credit history. 

Keeping an eye on your credit report is free and easy. You’re entitled to a copy of your credit report for free from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion annually. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you are entitled to free weekly credit reports from all three credit bureaus. You’ll be able to get weekly credit reports for free through April, 2022.

There are three ways to request your credit report. You’ll want to regularly monitor your credit report from each credit bureau.

There’s a lot of information in your credit reports, so take each of them one section at a time. Review your information to make sure your name is spelled right and that your Social Security number is correct. Then review all of the accounts listed. Make sure that:

  • You are the borrower (that the account actually belongs to you).

  • Payment history is accurate (monthly payments are listed or somehow noted as paid, any missed payments listed are accurate).

  • The account status is accurate (open account, closed account, charged-off).

  • Student loan account status is accurate (deferment, forbearance). 

  • Other reported details are accurate (the account high balance, name of the lender or loan servicer). 

You can dispute errors on your credit report. If any of your student loan accounts have incorrect information, you can dispute it and have the bad information removed or corrected. 

Student loans reporting accurate information cannot be deleted from your credit report until it is time for the account to naturally “fall off” your report. Defaulted student loans will stay on your credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date of the debt. 

Can Credit Repair Remove Student Loans?

Credit repair is a service offered by numerous companies and is the process of fixing inaccurate credit history reports that appear on your credit report. Credit repair can’t remove student loans that are correct on your credit report. You can dispute errors on your credit report for free. Be mindful of scams when it comes to companies offering credit repair.  

What Can I Do About Defaulted Student Loans?

Once your student loan repayment plan begins, you’ll have to make monthly payments by the due date, each and every month. Late payments usually result in fees and possibly other penalties, but not all late payments will appear on your credit report.

Federal student loans that are 90-days past due will be reported to the credit bureaus and appear on your credit report. A federal student loan payment that’s been delinquent for 270 days (approximately 9 months) will be reported as a defaulted student loan

Private student loans don’t have to follow the federal student aid guidelines. Private lenders will report late payments and default according to the loan terms, which the borrower accepts when taking out the loan. Private student loan payments can be reported as past due as soon as 30-days after the first missed payment. Private student loans are often reported as defaulted after 120 days of delinquency, but can be classified as in default after a single missed payment. When a student loan account is in default, the entire balance of the loan becomes due. 

What Can I Do About Defaulted Federal Student Loans?

If you’re in default on one or more of your federal student loans, there are steps you can take to get back in good standing.  

To find out if your federal student loan is in default, you can:

  • Check with your student loan servicer.

  • Check with the Department of Education by logging into studentaid.gov to see your repayment status. 

  • Check your credit report to see the status of your federal student loans.

You can get federal student loans out of default by consolidating your loans or completing loan rehabilitation. 

Loan Consolidation

A Direct Consolidation Loan will pay off your federal student loans with a new loan, which merges the previous loans. To consolidate one or more defaulted federal student loans into a new Direct Consolidation Loan, you must either agree to repay the new loan under an income-driven repayment plan or make three consecutive, on-time monthly payments toward the defaulted loan before you consolidate it. 

After federal student loans are consolidated, the loans will no longer be in default. This means that the borrower will again be eligible to receive federal financial aid. Consolidated federal loans are eligible for deferment, forbearance, repayment plan options, and loan forgiveness programs. 

Loan consolidation will not remove negative reporting from your credit report. Your new consolidation loan will appear as a new account on your credit report. This new loan pays off your original federal student loans, so those will be reported as closed with a zero balance. Accurate reporting of late payments and default status of those loans when closed will remain on your credit report.  

Federal Student Loan Rehabilitation

Federal student loan rehabilitation is a one-time opportunity to get your student loans out of default status. Loan rehabilitation requires that you make 9 out of 10 monthly payments, which must be made within 20 days of the due date. Your new monthly payment amount is calculated based on your household size, state, and income. 

The first step is to contact your federal student loan servicer to discuss a student loan rehabilitation plan. After federal student loans are rehabilitated, the loans will no longer be in default. Rehabilitated loans are eligible for deferment, forbearance, repayment plans, loan forgiveness, and you’ll be eligible for federal student aid again. 

Federal Perkins loan rehabilitation operates differently. The required monthly rehabilitation payments will be determined by the loan holder and don’t follow the standard calculation based on household size and income. Perkins loan rehabilitation requires that you make full monthly payments for 9 consecutive months, within 20 days of the due date. 

Loan rehabilitation will remove the defaulted record from your credit report. After you make your ninth rehabilitation payment, the Department of Education will send a request to the credit bureaus to remove the record of default from your account. Late payments from before the loan went into default will remain on your credit report.  

What Can I Do About Defaulted Private Student Loans?

Private student loans don’t have the same protections and repayment options as federal student loans. The options available for private loans are up to the lenders and the loan terms the borrower agreed to when taking out a loan. 

A private lender may offer some type of rehabilitation program or way for borrowers to catch up on missed payments. Contact your private loan lender to discuss options you might have to get your private student loan out of default. 

Refinancing student loans is another way to get loans out of default status. You can refinance private or federal student loans (though refinancing federal loans ends your right to repayment options you might need to take advantage of later). A refinanced loan is a new, private loan that pays off your original loans and leaves you with one monthly payment to make moving forward. Refinancing can pay off loans that are in default status, but it can’t remove any of the negative reporting on your credit report that already exists. Eligibility for refinancing one or more student loans depends on your credit score and overall creditworthiness. 

How Do I Remove Closed Student Loans From My Credit Report?

Student loans will not remain on your credit report forever. Closed or paid off student loans that were in good standing can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. These are good things to have reported on your credit report. Loans that were paid off on time and are in good standing, help your credit score and are viewed favorably by lenders. 

Student loans that were defaulted at the time they were paid off will stay on your credit report for 7 years from the original delinquency date. These accounts are harmful to your credit score. The less recent that this information is, the less damaging the effects. You can dispute erroneous information on your credit report and get those accounts removed or the reporting errors corrected. You can’t get student loans removed from your credit report if the accounts are being accurately reported. 

Let’s Summarize...

If repayment information is accurate, you’ll have to wait out the clock to get student loans removed from your credit report. You can dispute information that isn’t accurate. Even if the student loan can’t be deleted from your credit report, taking steps to make sure everything is reported accurately is good for your credit history and might help your credit score. 



Written By:

Attorney Jenni Klock Morel

LinkedIn

Jenni Klock Morel is a writer, nonprofit leader, and Social Justice Law Scholar. For years she practiced consumer bankruptcy law exclusively as a debtor's attorney, helping individuals and families file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy protection. Jenni left the practice of law to... read more about Attorney Jenni Klock Morel

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