How Long Will it Take My Credit Score to Improve?

If you have made some credit faux pas in the years trying to establish credit, chances are those mistakes are reflected in your credit score and on your credit report and you might be wondering how long it’s going to take for your credit score to improve.

The three digits that make up your credit score can move up or down depending on your creditworthiness and how you handle any credit products you have. 
If one of your financial goals is to improve your credit score by doing all the right things — like making payments on time, paying accounts that are past due or having negatives taken off your credit report — then you’re on the right road and want to see your hard work reflected in your score.

How soon is soon?

There is no way of telling by how much your credit score will improve or how soon. The business you’re working with to rectify any credit issues will ultimately update the information on your credit report, so changes will take at least that long. 

There are some businesses that send updates daily, while others do so monthly. It will likely take several weeks for you to notice any changes on your credit report. Even when your credit report is starting to get positives recorded on it, your credit score might not increase right away. It will probably take a number of positives on your credit report to make a difference to you when you want to apply for new credit.

Experts suggest to continue moving in the right direction by being wise in your use of credit and by rectifying issues that are negative.

The things that affect the update timing of your credit score

Credit score updates depend on when your credit report is updated. Your credit score is calculated instantly with the information on your credit report at any given moment, so any positive information added to your report is to your benefit.

You should know, too, that any negative information on your credit report will work the other way. In fact, they will offset any increases you might have seen to your credit score. If you’re taking two steps forward and one step back, you’re not going to make inroads to raising your score.

For instance, say the limit was raised on one of your credit cards which would lower your credit utilization ratio, but you’ve made late payments on two other credit cards. One positive is cancelled by a negative. 

Try to move forward by keeping negative information off your credit report. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, collections and the like can all wreak havoc on your credit report and on your credit score. The more recent negatives are on your credit report, the more impact they will have on your credit score.

Getting those negatives off your credit report

Firstly, check your credit report thoroughly to make sure everything on it is legitimate. If you spot an error that you think is impacting your credit score you will have to write a dispute letter to the creditors who included what you feel may be erroneous information. Include a copy of your credit report with the letter and ask that the incorrect information be removed from your report.

Things that may remain on your credit report after you’ve paid them — like paid collections or even late payments — may be removed if you write letters of goodwill to credit agencies. Often these letters of goodwill work, but if they don’t you have the option of negotiating with creditors regarding payment to remove the negative marks on your report.

Bankruptcies

A bankruptcy in America will stay on your credit report for up to seven years. If you have a second bankruptcy, it’s even longer. That could stay on your credit report for up to 14 years. You may think that bankruptcy is the easy way out of financial problems, but it’s not. Before you consider bankruptcy, you would be wise to consult with a financial expert to weigh your options.

The last word

If you stay mindful and disciplined in your use of credit, your credit score will improve sooner rather than later. Don’t borrow more than you can comfortably handle, make your payments on time, check your credit report regularly, watch your credit utilization ratio, among other things, and you will find your credit score increasing.

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