Pharos-Tribune

October 4, 2013

SMART MONEY: Student loans affect credit like other loans

by Bruce Williams
Syndicated columnist

---- — DEAR BRUCE: I attend school and plan to graduate next semester. I am wondering how my student loan affects my credit rating. — R.C., via email

DEAR R.C: Congratulations on completing your undergraduate work. Your student loan, like everything in your history, has an effect on your credit. If you meet your payments on time, that will certainly speak well for you, and it will affect your credit positively. If you are careless and get behind on your payments, obviously there will be damage.

Student loans are just another financial obligation, one that will perhaps be with you a longer period of time. You should take a look and see what options are available in terms of restructuring your student loans and how that will affect your ability to repay, but don't lose a lot of sleep over it.

You're going into the real world, and having obligations is part of being in that world. I would give everything I have if I could do it all over again.

DEAR BRUCE: If you win the lottery, do you have to pay taxes on that win? — Reader, via email

DEAR READER: I would like to see you win, but if you do, yes, you will have to pay federal taxes, and if there is a state income tax, that would have to be paid too. I have often wondered, since the odds are so incredible against winning, why you should not be able to keep all the money if you win, but the government doesn't see it that way.