Finance · 4 min read

Do Student Loans Count As Debt?

Do Student Loans Count As Debt?

The term debt might sound scary. But in reality, it’s normal for everyone to take on some form of debt throughout their life. Debt is simply the obligation to pay off a sum of money that has been borrowed. In the case of student debt, you owe this money to the SLC if you have taken out a student loan.

But how does this affect your financial record? Let’s delve into the details to find out…

How Do You Define Debt?

Debt is the amount of money borrowed by an individual from a lender. Once this money is borrowed, a time will come when it must be paid back!

It might sound scary, but borrowing money can help you kickstart a company, buy a house or in the case of student loans, invest in your education.

This all seems simple enough. So does a student loan count?

Are Student Loans Considered As Debt?

To give the short answer, yes. This is because you owe the SLC what you borrowed to cover your tuition and living expenses.

That being said, student loans are slightly different to other kinds of debt. Namely, they aren’t treated in the same way other debt is on your credit report. Your credit report is typically used to calculate a credit score, which impacts your ability to borrow in the future.

Unlike other kinds of debt, student debt does not appear on your file at all. Wonderful.

Why Do Student Loans Not Appear On Credit Reports?

The reason that student loan debt doesn’t appear on your file is that it’s not considered high-risk.

This means that if you, for example, need to take out a mortgage, a lender may not seriously consider your student loan in the process. From a lender’s perspective, having student debt is not seen as something that worrying.

Of course, this is to be taken with a pinch of salt. Lenders will still give student loans some consideration. They might look at the amount you’re paying in student loans to figure out your monthly disposable income for example.

But, unless you have large student debts, they are generally perceived as relatively low-risk.

Does Student Debt Affect Your Credit Report?

The point of a credit report is, among other things, to show if a person has any debt. But as student loans are not listed on this file, can they still affect it?

Graduates may think that, as student loans aren’t listed on their file, they have a get-out-of-jail-free card. Surely this means it won’t matter if you’re lazy at repaying them?

But unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If you miss your loan repayments, this may still lead to penalties, legal action, and a bad reputation.

Your student loan not being listed on your report means it can’t actually harm it. However, lenders, notably mortgage lenders, may inquire about your student loan within their checks.

So, while your student loan won’t actively impact your credit report, it can still harm your chances of borrowing in the future.


To summarise, yes, a student loan is considered debt. It represents borrowed funds and comes with the obligation to be repaid. However, student loans won’t affect you in the same way that other kinds of debt will.

Whilst this may ease the financial pressure of student loans, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them seriously.

Whether they’re a different kind of debt or not, failure to repay these loans can still have nasty repercussions. So, it is always best to pay them back in a timely manner.

Want to improve your financial literacy and work towards your savings goals? Get started with Prograd today.

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