How Long Does it Take to Increase My Credit Score?
So, what's the big deal about credit scores? Almost 30% of Americans don't know their scores. Around 50% of Americans under 30 don't know what is a good credit score.
So how long does it take to increase my credit score and do credit scores really matter?
The answer is yes. Your credit score is the primary information most lending companies use to decide if you should get a loan or not.
Think about everything in life purchased with a loan: houses, cars, credit cards, cell phone plans, business ventures, and even college education.
Not only do credit scores determine if you can get loans, but they also determine what types of loans you can get and how much interest you will pay.
Over time interest can add up to be thousands of dollars, the money you wouldn't need to spend at all if you had a higher credit score.
Your credit score is crucial to your financial success in life.
This article will help you figure out what is a good credit score and how to get a better one than you currently have.
1. What is a Good Credit Score?
Two main companies provide credit scores: FICO and VantageScore.
Each one uses different scoring numbers.
What is a good credit score according to FICO? 670! Here is a break down of what their different scores mean:
- 300-579: Very Poor- You may not be given a loan, but if you are you may have to pay a deposit or fee.
- 580-669: Fair- You are considered a high risk of defaulting and will be charged higher interest. You may qualify for a bad credit installment loan.
- 670-739: Good- Most applicants in this category are at low risk of defaulting.
- 740-799: Very Good- You will get better loan rates because you are not a risk of defaulting.
- 800-850: Exceptional- You will get the best available rates and loans.
What is a good credit score according to VantageScore? 700! Here's their scoring system:
- 300-549: Very Poor- You will most likely not be approved.
- 550-649: Poor- You may be approved but will be charged high interest and fees.
- 650-699: Fair- You will probably be approved but with poor rates.
- 700-749: Good- You will get better loan rates because you are not at risk of defaulting.
- 750-850: Excellent- You will get the best available rates.
2. Where Do These Numbers Come From?
It sometimes seems like these credit companies just randomly decide what is a good credit score. In truth though, they're looking at a lot of different factors.
- Payment history- Have you made all of your monthly payments on your loans and credit accounts? How many defaults do you have?
- Type, number, and length of credit accounts- How many credit accounts do you have open? Are they car loans, credit cars, or mortgages? How long have you had these accounts?
- Total debt- How much money do you owe to all of your lenders combined?
- Public records- Have you filed bankruptcy in the past? Do you have any wage garnishments?
- New credit accounts- Have you opened a lot of new accounts recently?
- Inquiries- How many lenders have been asking for your credit score recently? Have you been making multiple credit card applications?
All of this information determines if you are a credit risk or are likely to pay your bills on time.
Your payment history is the most critical factor in determining your credit score.
Lenders will also consider other factors beyond just your credit score. They will look at what type of credit you have, how much total debt you have, how long you've had credit, and how many times you've defaulted in the past. It may still be possible to get a 1000 loan without too much effort.
If your credit score isn't quite what you'd hoped, these other categories may help you.
3. So How Long Does it Take to Increase Your Credit Score?
Maybe your credit score isn't quite what you want. You've looked at all the factors lenders are using to analyze your credit, and you know you're not scoring well.
Don't worry; there's hope.
It takes time for negatives to roll off of your credit history, but they do roll off eventually.
If you've missed a payment or been delinquent, it will show on your credit history for seven years.
Bankruptcies are typically on your credit history for seven years but sometimes as long as ten.
Lenders asking for your credit score appears on your credit history for two years.
While it can be a pain to wait, when these things come off your credit history, your score will go up on its own.
4. How Do I Increase My Credit Score?
Before you can improve your credit, you have to know what your score is.
You might think it hurts your credit for you to check your own score, but this is not true. Having multiple companies look at your credit history can impact your score, but you checking it yourself will not hurt you.
You can check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.
While it seems like a no-brainer, it helps to pay your bills on time. This is the number one way to improve your credit score.
Remember to keep your credit card balances low. Don't put money on cards if you don't have to, and pay them off every month! This will help your credit and save you money on interest.
Pay off your debt; don't move it around. It can be tempting to pay off one card with another, but this only delays the problem. It can also become confusing and increase the amount of interest you pay in the long run.
Raise the maximum credit limits on your accounts. This may seem to go against the keep low balances rule, but having high credit limits can help you.
Lenders take your total available credit number into account when determining your credit score. This is part of your credit utilization ratio.
If you have a low balance on your accounts but a high maximum amount, your credit score will be better.
You can increase your maximum credit limit by calling your current credit card companies. If you regularly pay off your balance, you may be eligible for a credit increase.
5. What Are More Ways to Increase My Score?
Another tip is not to have many lines of credit open if you don't need them.
One example of this is department store credit cards. It can be tempting to open an account to get a discount on your purchase, but if you do this often, it will hurt your credit score. If a $500 loan even with bad credit would help you out then we would like to help.
If you already have multiple lines of credit open, don't close them. This seems to contradict the previous rule, but if you already have them, leave them open without using them.
This will increase your maximum credit available. The higher your maximum credit, the better your credit utilization ratio.
If you don't have the self-control not to use every account you have open though, you should close the unnecessary ones immediately!
Another good step is to check your credit report. When you get it, make sure it's all correct. If there is inaccurate information, get it fixed right away. This will make sure your credit score is based on the correct information.
Monitor your credit cards to make sure no one else is using your accounts. Many people have ruined credit due to identity thefts.
Well, you now know what is a good credit score.
While it seems like a lot of work and a lot of waiting, you can benefit from a good credit score in the long run. You will be saving a lot of money in low-interest rates and getting better deals. You'll also be eligible for the loans that will help you get ahead in life!
Want to know more about how debt consolidation can impact your credit? Check out this article. For more information on loans, you can reach out to us at any time.