The Importance of Credit
Students usually receive financial aid based on their enrollment status. The William D. Ford Direct Grad PLUS Loan and private or alternative loans rely on your credit rating for approval. You must be credit ready to receive these loans!
Take steps now to review and correct any problems so that each year of your program you are ready and able to receive credit-based funding. By correcting your credit report prior to enrollment, you may avoid a negative credit decision or be able to appeal for an override of the decision.
Review your credit report for:
- Inaccuracies like accounts that are not yours or have been misreported.
- Report any fraudulent activity immediately to the credit reporting agency.
- Correct other inaccuracies with your creditor(s).
- Too many accounts (or accounts with high credit limits) –
- Cancel any unused or store credit cards -- do not simply cut up the card, but write and cancel the account with the credit provider.
- Hold your oldest major account open and active as the age of your credit history influences your credit score.
- Request a reduction in the credit limit on your remaining card(s).
- Delinquent accounts –
- Pay on time – late payments do matter! 18-24 months of on time payments must be made to fully restore your credit ranking.
- Bring current any delinquent accounts now, if possible, collecting written confirmation of payment from each account.
- Contact each account to make satisfactory repayment arrangements if possible.
- Keep complete documentation on each account even after paid in full as it might take several years for your past history to stop impacting your current credit options.
Your financial health prescription: Check your credit report now and repeat annually (or sooner if required). Contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance or questions about budgeting or financial planning.