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How Long Does It Take To Improve Your Credit Score
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According to a different credit repair companies in Dallas, repairing your credit, or just doing the work to watch it climb up, may seem like a difficult process that takes too long to even be worth the investment. Part of that may be true. If your credit score is very low, getting back to a point of excellence may take years. But, to see it start improving, it doesn’t take very long at all.
If you already have good credit, there are some small steps you can take to inch up that score just a bit more every month. If your score is down in the dumps, you can still watch it slowly climb, but you’ll need to put in a little more work for long term gains.
Short Term Improvement
The Slow Climb
Some steps you can take right now will reflect in your credit score within a reporting cycle. For example, if you have a history of late payments, your credit most certainly is damaged. To begin repairing it, begin making your payments on time, every time – even if it’s just the minimum balance.
If you’re enrolled in a credit monitoring service, you’ll be notified within a month or two that your credit score has changed. It will only climb a point, or two, or three at a time. But, as you continue to pay your bills on time, you can continue to watch the score climb slowly every month.
Another great way to see small jumps in your credit is to use your cards as a tool instead of a debt accumulator. Use your credit cards for purchases to collect rewards points, then pay the balance off each month before the end of the billing cycle. This is an excellent way to make your credit score soar.
Other ways to give your credit score little boosts is by reviewing your report and correcting any errors listed within. There may be errors that are damaging your score, such as false delinquency reporting. Fixing those may help.
Each of the three credit bureaus maintains their own reports. So when you’re reviewing your credit, you’ll need to obtain a copy from each of the three agencies, and report any errors individually. Or, you can go to the creditor you own a dispute with directly to rectify the problem. Any correction a creditor will make as a result, will appear on all three credit reports within a month or two.
The Big Leap
To witness a larger jump in your credit score instead of a slow climb, try reducing your debt to credit ratio. The more debt you have and less available credit, the lower your score will be.
If you are able to pay a large chunk of that debt off, or even a few thousand off of an 8,000 dollar balance, within a billing cycle or two, you’ll see a larger jump in your score. The wider the margin between debt and available credit, the higher your credit score will climb.
Long Term Improvement
Other steps take a bit longer to realize a change in your credit score. While it will slowly climb up with these measures, a better score may take a year or two to achieve.
Aging Credit Lines
The older your revolving lines of credit are, the better your credit score will be, within reason. So, if you’re looking to close any accounts, do not close your oldest ones. As your newer lines age, your credit score may be bolstered a bit.
Damaging Credit Lines
Be careful about opening new credit lines if you already have several open. If, however, you don’t have any or only one revolving line of credit, your score may benefit from opening a new line to increase your debt to available credit ratio.
Too many inquiries into your credit in a short period of time will hurt your credit rather than help it. So if you’re thinking of opening a new line, do the research to estimate if you’ll actually qualify. If your credit is bad, you may not qualify for any until you get your credit score back up to at least a fair rating.
Waiting It Out
For credit that is in an especially bad place, waiting it out will do you some good. Granted this can take up to ten years to see an improvement in your credit score. So, if there are more proactive steps you can take now, take them.
Bad debt such as foreclosures, short sales, bankruptcies, and other closed accounts will eventually age off of your credit report. This is by far the slowest, longest way to see your credit score improve. But for many, there is not much other choice.
Before taking on new debt, consider whether or not the new debt is really worth the risk. If you’re purchasing a new home, evaluate the housing market first, and make sure the mortgage you’re assuming is one you can afford without stretching other areas of your finances.
Before acquiring new revolving lines of credit, understand your purpose for doing so. Credit cards should be tools for building credit and not vehicles to accrue debt. If you cannot afford a purchase, do not use your credit card.
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No Right Answer
Unfortunately, the nature of credit scoring does not offer a clear idea of exactly how long it will take to improve your credit score. Getting your credit score to rise is a matter of many factors such as type of debt, severity of delinquency, age of credit lines, and debt to credit ratio.
But, if you begin the steps to getting your credit repaired right now, you will be sure to see small steps upward with each new credit cycle. Start by reviewing your report for errors, pay down existing debt, keep old lines open, and pay your bills on time every time, and you’ll be sure to watch your credit rise.
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A credit score number is normally known as a FICO score, for Fair Isaac Corp., the company from California that made the system upon which it is based.
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Payment history is 35% of your credit score. How timely you pay your bills affects your credit score more than any other factor.
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