Making Student Loan Inquiries May Affect Your Credit Score

If done wrong, a student loan inquiry could negatively affect your credit score.

Flickr user 401(k)2012

If done incorrectly, making student loan inquiries can actually negatively affect your credit score. Your credit history plays a key role in future loans approval. It also affects the interest rate of your loan. With that in mind, it is important to know how to make loan inquiries in a way that they do not affect your credit history.

There are two ways to make loan inquiries.

The first way is to approach a lender directly. If you decide to apply for a loan with that lender, they will initiate a credit inquiry to check your credit history. When you make a credit inquiry, 5 points or sometimes more ar taken off your FICO score. While this one inquiry may not do much damage to your credit score, multiple inquiries will. A damaged credit score means you will find it difficult to get a loan at a lower rate of interest. With a damaged credit score, most lenders will impose much higher interest rates.

Soft Inquiry

The best way to make loan inquiries without damaging your credit history is by making a soft inquiry using an online multi-lender marketplace. These are not lenders. They are simply facilitators who help you to compare loans and get customized rates and terms without actually applying for a loan or triggering an inquiry that impacts your credit score.

Use College Raptor’s new Student Loan Finder to discover personalized loan options. Compare lenders and interest rates to find the ideal student loan—for FREE!


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Citizens logo.
5.99%-16.48%* Variable
4.39%-15.45%* Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Sallie Mae logo.
6.37% - 16.70% Variable
4.25% - 15.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
5.37% - 16.85% Variable
4.17% - 16.69% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
5.98% - 13.74% Variable
3.99% - 12.61% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
6.23% - 16.09% Variable
4.29% - 15.96% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.54% - 11.08% Variable
3.95% - 8.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
5.62% - 16.85% Variable
4.29% - 16.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.00% - 14.22% Variable
4.50% - 14.22% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.