How to Remove Student Loans From Your Credit Report

Video how to remove student loans off credit report

As an adult, your credit score matters quite a bit. Whether you’re seeking approval for an apartment, a mortgage, or a car loan, your credit score will be utilized in various important life stages. If your student loans seem to be bringing down your score, you may be wondering how to remove student loans from your credit report. Unfortunately, you can’t remove accurate information from your credit report — legally, of course.

That said, there are a few things you can do to remove student loans from your credit report if inaccurate information is present.

Dispute Inaccurate Information

While you can’t remove accurate information from your credit report, you can dispute inaccurate information. For example, if you find one of the following on your credit report, you should dispute it:

  1. A late payment you didn’t incur
  2. A loan that isn’t yours
  3. Inaccurate default status
  4. A loan inaccurately listed in forbearance or deferment
  5. A loan account marked as open that is actually closed

To dispute it, contact your student loan servicer as soon as possible. While there may be a phone number listed online, we recommend filing your dispute in writing. That way, you have the entire interaction documented should the process be inefficient or ineffective.

How to Write Your Dispute Letter

When crafting your dispute letter, ensure you have the following:

  1. Your student loan reference number
  2. Contact information (ie. your phone number and email address)
  3. An in-depth explanation of the issue
  4. Documentation of the issue (ie. proof of the error in a credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax)
  5. Documentation of the accurate information (ie. proof of on-time payments)
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If you are still in school and aren’t required to make loan payments, yet your credit report shows late or missed payments, you may need proof of enrollment to have the information removed from your report. Contact your school’s registrar’s office for proper documentation.

If you find that your lender or loan servicer is uncooperative, you may need to follow up multiple times to get things moving. If you’re still struggling to reach them, file the dispute online with the credit bureau directly.

How Long Will it Take for the Error to Be Fixed?

Typically, it takes around thirty days to investigate a dispute and report findings. However, there are two main reasons the process can take longer: insufficient information was provided or inefficiency of the lender or loan servicer involved.

  1. If you fail to provide sufficient information on the first go-round, the investigating agency may need to reach back out to you to ask for more information. You can avoid this by providing in-depth descriptions of the issue and proper documentation upfront in your initial dispute letter.
  2. If you opt to dispute via the credit bureau, they’ll need to contact your lender or loan servicer to investigate further. If they don’t respond in a timely manner, it could extend the length of the process. This is one reason why disputing the error yourself with the lender or loan servicer directly can be more efficient.

Regardless of how you choose to file the dispute, don’t be afraid to follow up with each party involved throughout the process. Sometimes, a gentle nudge to move the dispute forward can speed it up quite a bit.

Pay Your Loans Off

A student loan is a line of credit. When you close a line of credit, the credit history associated with it goes out the window, too. So, when you pay off your student loans, they will no longer be on your credit report.

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While this method isn’t the simplest nor quickest solution, implementing a more effective debt payoff strategy may help you get to it faster.

For example, refinancing your student loans can help you pay off your debt faster. Refinancing means replacing your current student loan(s) with a new loan with a lower interest rate. When you refinance more than one student loan, you can also consolidate them into one loan, meaning one monthly payment.

Here is a list of some of the best refinance rates for student loans:

Have Your Loans Forgiven

Like paying off your student loans, being granted student loan forgiveness closes out your loan account. So, if you have any late or missed payments associated with the account, it’ll be wiped from your credit report once the debt is forgiven.

That said, student loan forgiveness is only an option if you have federal student loans. However, depending on the type of federal student loans you have, you may need to pursue a consolidation loan first to be eligible for forgiveness. Private student loans, on the other hand, are ineligible for student loan forgiveness programs.

How Long Do Student Loans Stay on Your Credit Report?

Late student loan payments will remain on your credit report for seven years. If the loan goes into default as a result, however, the timer won’t go back to zero. The seven year period will be based on the date of the first missed payment, not the last.

Beware of Credit Repair Scams

You may see advertisements, messages, and emails from individuals or services claiming to have the power to fix your credit score. However, the vast majority of these are scams.

Some red flags to look out for include:

Asking you to pay before providing the service. Under the federal Credit Repair Organization Act, it is illegal for credit repair companies to charge you until they’ve provided the services they’ve promised.

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Saying they can remove any information, including accurate information from your credit report. You cannot remove accurate information from your credit report.

Using salesy language such as “urgent” or “guaranteed.” Even with a reliable credit repair company, there is no guarantee the error disputed will be resolved.

Refusing to explain your rights. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it is your legal right to dispute credit report errors on your own, free of charge. While you can utilize a credit repair service, you don’t need to hire someone to handle it for you. If an organization says only they can take care of a dispute, do not work with them.

Applying pressure to make a decision about using the service. When you choose to file the dispute is up to you. There is no timeline in which you need to make the decision.

Telling you not to contact credit card companies, lenders, loan servicers, or credit reporting agencies. It is within your right to contact any of these entities with questions regarding your credit.

Do not share any personal information regarding your student loans or your credit with anyone unless you are certain they belong to a reputable credit repair company.

Final Thoughts From the Nest

While you can’t remove just any information from your credit report, you can dispute inaccuracies associated with your student loans. Oftentimes, these mistakes are simply oversights or glitches in the system and can be promptly corrected once your lender or loan servicer is made aware.

If you aren’t sure whether something on your credit report is in fact an error, reach out to your lender or loan servicer anyways. It can’t hurt to inquire and file a dispute, but it could potentially save your score.