Student Loan Default Vs. Student Loan Delinquency

What's the difference between delinquent and default?

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When you are behind on your student loan payments, it is considered a delinquency. It does not take long for a loan delinquency to occur. If you miss a due date payment, the very next day the loan is considered to be delinquent.

The loan goes into default if you are delinquent for a certain amount of time. The exact period of time may differ depending on the lender and the loan terms. However, for federal loans, the loan defaults if there you did not make payments for nine months.

Consequences Of Student Loan Delinquency

The exact consequences for loan delinquency would depend on the type of loan as well, as the cause and duration of delinquency. For example, if a few days have passed since your payment deadline and you still cannot make the payment, your loan will remain in delinquent status until you pay it up or you chose deferment or forbearance. The delinquency cancels as soon as you pay up.

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Consequences Of Student Loan Default

Defaulting on a loan, however, can have much more serious consequences. If you do not make the payment on your delinquent loan for about 9 months or 270 days, you officially default. If this happens, it could adversely affect your credit ratings, making it difficult in the future to obtain a mortgage, get approval to rent an apartment or purchase homeowner’s insurance.


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
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Variable APR: 1.88% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
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Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
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Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
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Variable APR: 1.64% - 5.65%*
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Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.96% - 7.02%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.97%*
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Variable APR: 1.87% – 5.33%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.96%**
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*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

**Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

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