Before You Apply

Before you apply for most loans, you should check your credit report for any details about your previous use of credit that might make a potential lender question the credit risk you pose.

The one exception is when you apply for federal education loans. The government doesn't consider your previous use of credit in making their decision to allow you to borrow. But remember that default or delinquency will have a negative impact on your credit history and your ability to borrow more, either from the government or other lenders.

Other lenders, including the banks, credit unions, and loan companies who make private education loans, consider the information in your credit report and your credit score to help decide how much they will lend you and the interest rate they will charge. They want to be sure you will repay on schedule.