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Will I be affected by credit constraints?

There are three main credit reporting agencies:

Equifax             800/685-1111; http://www.equifax.com

Experian/TRW   888/397-3742; http://www.experian.com

Transunion        800/888-4213; http://www.transunion.com

You may obtain a copy of one or all three credit reports free once a year as mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml) from www.annualcreditreport.com or 877.322.8228.  If you ask for one at a time, you may receive a free credit report every four months.  We advise all applicants to obtain a copy of at least one credit report immediately.  It is important to ascertain if credit reports contain errors (which, unfortunately, are common) in time to make any necessary corrections or to begin the process of repairing any damage to a credit rating.  Optionally, detailed information from the three major credit bureaus is provided in a side-by-side format for a fee from http://www.equifax.com.

Tulane is unable to replace "denied" loans with other sources of aid, so it is critical for applicants to know whether their credit history will support planned borrowing.

Lenders of non-federal educational loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans review credit reports of applicants.  If a report contains negative financial information (whether or not in error) may be denied by the lender, even if eligibility is certified by a financial aid office. 

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS approval is based on the absence of adverse credit notations for the student.  A student who is denied a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan may possibly obtain the loan by securing an endorser who has no adverse credit notations.  Note that credit scores and/or debt-to-income ratio are NOT considered as reasons to deny a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

Private loans are more strictly credit-based than the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.  If the credit report of a student contains negative financial information and/or a low credit score, the loan may be denied by the lender.  A student who is denied a private loan may possibly obtain the loan by securing a cosigner who, according to the lender, has a satisfactory credit history, credit score and debt-to-income ratio (deemed as being adequate to support  the new loan in addition to pre-existing debt).

Credit Requirements for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan
Federal Direct PLUS loan approval is based on absence of adverse notations on the borrower's credit report as reviewed by the lender (the U.S. Department of Education). A borrower is not eligible to receive a Direct PLUS loan if the borrower has an adverse credit history as determined in accordance with the Department's regulations.  A credit check is conducted on each Direct PLUS Loan applicant to determine if the applicant meets this eligibility requirement.  The Direct Loan regulations provide that an applicant who is determined to have an adverse credit history may receive a Direct PLUS Loan if the applicant obtains an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history, or documents to the satisfaction of the Secretary the existence of extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit history. A Direct PLUS Loan applicant is considered to have an adverse credit history if he or she:

  • Is 90 or more days delinquent on any debt as of the date of the credit report; or
  • Has been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure,repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a debt under Title IV of the HEA during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.

If a borrower is denied a PLUS loan, only the lender (the Department of Education) can discuss the reasons for a denial.

Citation information:

Page accessed: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Page URL: http://tulane.edu/financialaid/loans/creditcriteria.cfm

University Financial Aid, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5723 finaid@tulane.edu