Ask Bill your personal finance question

Information on how much time it takes to improve credit score

How long will it take for my score to improve?

How long will it take for my score to improve? I want to buy a house in the next few years and I need a better score? How long should I wait to try and increase my credit limit on my credit card? Why is it that my score increases so slowly, but when I was late on one single payment, my credit score dropped like 12 points? What's the average of points your score can increase a month/year?

Read full question
Bill's Answer
4.0
/5.0
(6 Votes)

Bills.com | Find Learn Save
Highlights

  • Accounts with long positive payment histories boost your credit score.

Unfortunately, credit scoring is much too complex a calculation for me to tell you specifically when your credit score should improve without knowing much, much more about your credit history. Even if I had a copy of your credit report, it would be difficult for me to tell you when and if your score would improve. Paying all of your accounts on time should slowly improve your credit profile, but how long it will take for your score to improve really depends on how much damage your credit score suffered due to any previous negative items(if any), such as collection accounts, and how many positive credit listings are now appearing on your credit report.

Increasing your credit limit is not going to automatically bring your score up, because what the bureaus look at is called the credit utilization ratio. This is simply the ratio of your current total debt to the total amount of available credit. This ratio should be no more than 25% (meaning, on a credit card that has about $1,000 in credit limit, you should ideally use no more than $250.)

While I cannot tell you when your credit score will improve, I encourage you to make your monthly payments in a timely manner, as the longer you make payments, the more positive influence your accounts will have on your credit history. I encourage you to regularly obtain copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) to verify that all listings appearing on your report are accurate. If you find any inaccurate credit listings, you should dispute the item with the credit bureau reporting the information.

If it would help you for future knowledge, I can help you to understand how your credit score is calculated. Your credit rating is calculated based on several variables, including: your payment history (do you have any late payments, charge-offs, etc.), the amount and type of debt that you owe, if you have maxed out any of your trade lines, and then several other secondary factors like the length of your credit history and how many recent inquiries have been made to look at your credit history.

Generally speaking, all items remain on your credit report for up to 7 years unless you dispute the listing and it is removed as inaccurate by the credit bureaus. A bankruptcy may remain on your credit report for up to 10 years.

Here are some steps you can take to help improve your credit rating:

  1. Pay off all debts and keep revolving lines below 25% utilization (and certainly don't 'max out' any loans or cards);
  2. Get a small store card or gas card or credit card and make payments every month (this will help you re-establish a track-record of positive payment history);
  3. Pull your credit report and contest any inaccurate information so that it can be corrected by the credit bureaus.

To learn more about credit reports and credit scoring, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com Credit Solutions and Resources page.

I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

www.bills.com

People also like to Read

DC

Looking for credit card debt help? Review the 5 step plan for attacking credit card debt, compliments of Bills.com. Your firs...

MC

Need a loan for credit card consolidation or home repair? Read on to learn your options for secured and unsecured loan, plus ...

DC

Lexington Law Firm can help you remove inaccurate information on your credit report. You can do this yourself for free. Read ...

DC

Government Debt Relief | Compare government debt relief options that can help you save, including government mortgage relief ...

1 Comments

1500 characters remaining
  • CS
    Aug, 2009
    credit
    If you are looking to improve your credit score ake advantage of today’s historically low interest rates with an improved credit score.
    0 Votes