When Do Deferred Student Loans Show Up on a Credit Report?

Mixed race woman paying bills on digital tablet
Dear Experian,

How long does it take after student loans are out of deferment for them to show up on a credit report? Do school loans in deferment lower credit scores?


Dear LSM,

Because they are debts you are obligated to repay, your student loans may show up on your report even before they are out of deferment and in repayment.

When you accept a student loan, you are opening an account with a lender, and it may begin reporting the account to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) at any time. The account entry on your credit file will show its status, whether it is deferred in repayment or otherwise.

You May See Multiple Student Loans on Your Report

Although you may make only one payment, student loans are often listed as separate accounts for each enrollment period or semester that you attended school. Therefore, you may see multiple accounts listed for those individual loans.

Loans Can Be Transferred to Another Lender

Student loans also are often transferred and purchased by new lenders. If that happens, the old loans will still appear on your report, but they'll show as transferred with a zero balance. The new lender can then report the loan separately.

Student Loan Deferment Won't Hurt Your Score

Lenders don't consider a deferment on your student loans negative, so being in deferment won't hurt your credit scores. In fact, some credit scoring models exclude deferred student loans from the calculation altogether. However, your loan balance is still a debt you will eventually need to repay, so lenders may consider it when deciding whether to approve you for a new account.

Contact Your Lender Before Missing a Payment

Once the loan is in repayment status, it is very important to make every payment on time. Because your monthly payment can go to multiple loan accounts, missing just one monthly payment could result in multiple late payments being reported by the lender—one for each account.

If you think you will have trouble making a payment, contact your lender immediately to give them an opportunity to work with you to protect your credit history.

A number of alternatives may be available during a difficult financial period, such as additional deferment time or hardship assistance. Consolidating your student loans may result in lower monthly payments, but it typically increases the repayment period.

Thanks for asking.

Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist