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Financial Aid

Personal Credit

Students are responsible for any debts incurred prior to matriculation. Credit card debt, car loans, and any outstanding bills must be taken care of by the student; financial aid will not be awarded to pay off these debts.

A negative credit rating will cause ineligibility for some student aid programs. Private/Alternative Loan programs require a credit check on the borrower and/or co-borrower as part of the application process. Most of the programs require a borrower to be "credit-ready"; this means that the borrower has a clear credit record.

Keeping a "Clean" Credit Record

The following are guidelines which lenders use to determine whether a prospective borrower has a good or a bad credit record.

Good Credit

Bad Credit

If a student cannot obtain a loan because of negative credit rating, University funds cannot be awarded to replace that loan. Students who have any doubt as to their credit rating should request a copy of their own credit report and reconcile any problems now, prior to the loan application process.

Obtaining a Copy of Your Credit Report

To request a copy of your credit report: send a written and signed request, including your full name and address for the past five years, social security number, date of birth, a bill with your name and address on it, a copy of your driver's license number and daytime telephone number. If you have been denied credit within the past 30 to 60 days, you may obtain a credit report free of charge. There are four main credit reporting agencies:

CBA Credit Report
1-800-682-7654
Fee: $7.50

TRW Complimentary Report
P.O. Box 8030
Layton, UT 84041-8030
One free report annually. There
is no phone number available.
You must write directly to TRW to
request a copy of your credit report.

CSC Credit Services
Consumer Assistance Center
652 Eastnorth Belt
Suite 133
Houston, TX 77267-4422
1-800-759-5979
Fee: $15.00

Trans Union
760 West Sproul Road
Springfield, PA 19064-3090
1-800-888-4213
Free within 60 days if you
were denied credit.

"Fixing" Your Credit Report

Any credit troubles are highlighted on your report by either an asterisk or a box. They're considered "derogatory remarks" for which most lenders will demand explanations before they grant credit.

Repairing a credit report usually requires a written explanation about why a particular account wasn't paid or was paid late. If you don't have any legitimate excuses, you will have to establish a track record of 12 to 24 months of timely payments.

The purpose of a consumer credit report is to report your credit history and whether or not you repay loans on time for the things you buy (including your education). Corrections to your credit report should be made not only with the credit bureau but also with the creditor (the store or bank which extended the credit and reported the information to the credit bureau).

Credit bureaus can put a consumer's comments on a credit report, e.g. that something is being is contested. If there is an error on your credit report which you are unable to correct with the creditor, you can contact the Better Business Bureau or the State Attorney General.

Tips to living on a student budget

 Food

 Low-Cost Entertainment

Cut your monthly spending

Words of Wisdom

Page Updated: 08-Nov-2012