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How Do Student Loans Affect Your Credit Scores?

Federal and private student loans are reported to the three major U.S. credit bureaus. Like any other debt, delinquencies and defaults will affect the credit history and credit scores of the borrower and the borrower's cosigner, if any. But, there are also several ways in which student loans affect credit scores differently than other types of debt.

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How Does Your Credit Score Affect Student Loan Interest Rates?

With federal student loans, everyone pays the same interest rate, regardless of their credit scores. With private student loans, on the other hand, your credit score (and the credit score of your cosigner) has a major impact on what interest rate you ultimately pay. If you have excellent credit, you may even qualify for a lower interest rate that is competitive with the fixed interest rates on federal loans.

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6 ways you can save for college

Learn about six common ways to save for college and the pros and cons of each: Mutual funds, custodial accounts, U.S. savings bonds, Roth IRAs, Coverdell ESAs and 529 plans.

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Finding the lowest-cost 529 savings plans

Savingforcollege.com's 529 Fee Study, updated as of July 23, 2018, showed that 529 fees continue to decline on average. When taking mean cost across the highest and lowest options, we found that mean fees fell 1.1% over the past six months.

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Comparison of 529 plans and Roth IRA for college savings

Both 529 college savings plans and Roth IRAs can be used to save for college. However, a 529 plan offers several advantages when the student enrolls in college and a Roth IRA is better when the student decides to not go to college.

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