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Study: These Jobs Could Mark You as a Risk for Late Payments on Personal Loans

Dec. 9, 2016
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The terms of your next personal loan could be affected by the repayment habits of people with the same job title as you. That’s good news for military officers or scientists, who are more likely to pay their bills on time. But it could be a problem for real estate agents or bus drivers — the jobs with the highest rates of delinquent payments, according to an analysis of online personal loan application data.

Delinquencies are the number of days (30, 60 or 90) a borrower is late to make a payment. This includes loan, credit card or other payments throughout a borrower’s credit history.

A delinquency rate may come into play during the application process for a personal loan at an online lender — something you might consider if you’re looking to consolidate or refinance debt. This kind of marketplace lending connects borrowers with investors who provide the money for these loans.

Although lenders care more about an applicant’s credit score and income than job title, the delinquency rate of a profession can have an impact on loan terms, such as interest rate.

As part of its analysis, NerdWallet examined 90-day delinquency rates for 60 occupations identified on applications at Prosper, an online personal loan marketplace. The study also looked at the jobs with the best track record of avoiding delinquencies. All of the data are publicly available and provided by NSR Invest, a third-party service that offers tools for analysis at three online lending marketplaces: Funding Circle, Lending Club and Prosper.

Jobs with the highest rates of one or more 90-day payment delinquencies

  1. Real estate agent
  2. Bus driver
  3. Nurse, LPN
  4. Car dealer
  5. Clerical
  6. Postal service
  7. Truck driver
  8. Flight attendant
  9. Administrative assistant
  10. Police officer/correction officer

Jobs with the highest rates of zero 90-day payment delinquencies

  1. Military officer
  2. Scientist
  3. Computer programmer
  4. Biologist
  5. Doctor
  6. Judge
  7. Attorney
  8. Chemical engineer
  9. Professor
  10. Religious

Delinquencies not only affect the terms of new loans, but they can also mean you’ll get a black mark on your credit report and have to pay late fees. Here’s how to avoid late payments:

Set up automatic payments. Automate loan and credit card payments by linking payments to a checking or savings account.

Change the due date. If a different date would make it easier to pay on time, contact your lender or credit card company to change the due date of your bill.

Track credit report discrepancies. You can get a copy of your credit report for free three times a year, once at each of the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you see a negative item that shouldn’t be there, notify the credit reporting bureau immediately.

Contact the lender. Notify your lender or financial institution immediately if you’re struggling to make payments. You may be granted an extension or be allowed to make a partial payment. Or, if you’ve had delinquencies already, consider negotiating with a lender for a debt settlement.

Make on-time payments moving forward. If you have a delinquency, ensure it is paid by 30 days or 60 days. A 90-day delinquency has a bigger impact on your credit score.

Read the full ranking of 60 jobs in the payment delinquency data analysis, and find out what you should do before taking out a personal loan.

Anna Helhoski is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @AnnaHelhoski.