La Salle University

Undergraduate Admissions
International Students

How does your credit score relate to your loan eligibility?

There are two types of loans that can be affected by your credit score – Parent PLUS loans and alternative private loans (such as a Sallie Mae Signature loan).  For the Parent PLUS loan, the credit score of the parent will be reviewed by the lender to determine the parent’s loan eligibility.  For alternative private loans, the lender will review the credit score of the student and the cosigner (usually a parent) to determine if the student is eligible for a loan and what interest rate will be offered.  A lower credit score means higher risk to the lender which translates to a higher interest rate for the student.

Because many students have either no credit history or an adverse credit history, it is very difficult for a student to be  eligible for an alternative loan without a creditworthy consigner. We encourage all students to apply with a cosigner, as they may benefit with a better interest rate.

Federal Direct loans are not affected by a student's credit score.

What is a credit score?

During any pursuit of credit, such as a private educational loan, the applicant will be asked to authorize the lender to obtain a credit history. This history can be calculated as a "score."

What is a FICO Score?

It is a score that lenders use to determine credit risk. Scores are based solely on information in consumer credit reports maintained through the agencies listed below. The score consists of the following components: payment history, amount you owe, length of your credit history, pursuit of new credit, and types of credit you use. The score varies from 300 to 850 and can differ slightly between the three agencies.

Equifax: 800-685-1111 or online at
Experian: 888-397-3742 or online at
TransUnion: 800-888-4213 or online at

You can obtain your free credit report once annually by logging on to, which is sponsored by the three credit reporting agencies.

What helps your credit score?

Paying your balances on time
Paying more than minimum payment
Using one credit card to establish credit; having multiple cards is harder to manage
Staying below your credit limits

What hurts a credit score?

Accounts in collections
High proportion of debt compared to credit limits
Multiple accounts with balances

Can I improve my credit score?

Yes. In fact, many sites such as, offer tips to help you improve your credit score. However it can take a few months to see an improvement.

Can the lender help me?

Many lenders offer a second look and, in some cases, can offer some easy credit repair options.  However, you have to ask the lender for this service, as the lender is prohibited from offering this service.

*Disclaimer:  Please note that the information contained on this page is for information purposes only.  La Salle University is not able to assist with any type of credit disputes.  All credit questions and concerns should be directed to the credit agencies listed above. 

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