The pause in student loan payments passed by Congress and extended to the end of the year has so far helped improve borrower credit scores, according to a study released today by the Center on Education Data and Policy from the Urban Institute.
To compare the impacts of the break on payments against other factors that could improve credit, the researchers compared the odds of those with and without student loans. He found that across all age groups, the percentage of those with student loans and bad credit declined more between February and June than those without.
Among those aged 18 to 29, the percentage of borrowers with poor credit declined from 28.4 percent to 25.3 percent, while the percentage of those with poor credit without a loan fell from 33.2 % to 31.2%.
Among those aged 30 to 49, the percentage of those with poor credit rose from 38.1% to 30% among those with student loans, but from 29.8% to 27.7% for those who did not. do not have any. And among people aged 50 and over, the percentage of borrowers with poor credit rose from 26.1% to 22.4%. For non-borrowers, those with poor credit fell from 15.4% to 14.4%.
However, the researchers said the pause in student loan payments hadn’t lifted borrowers out of financial trouble. The percentage of borrowers who owe their utilities has declined slightly, but at about the same rate as those without student loans.