How Long Does it Take to Improve Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is that little three-digit number (FICO or VantageScore) that translates your credit history into your creditworthiness. It is used as an indication of how likely you are to pay your debts on time (or at all) based on past history. Your credit score determines what loans you will qualify for and the interest rate you will pay. Credit history and your credit score are important because they determine whether or not you will get a home, car, or business loan. In some states, employers are even allowed to do a credit check as part of a background inquiry.

While keeping your credit score as high as possible is always a good goal, sometimes life gets in the way. Maybe you couldn’t pay your student loans for a few months or perhaps you had an emergency medical procedure and became delinquent on your credit card bills. Whatever the reason, it can happen to the best of us. If you are now looking to improve you credit score, you may be wondering how long it takes. That will depend on a number of factors, such as whether or you’ve declared bankruptcy.

What Affects Your Credit Score?

There are a number of factors that affect your credit score including:

  • the length of your credit history;
  • payment history;
  • amount owed on each account;
  • how many new credit inquiries appear on your credit history; and
  • the different types of credit you have such as student loans, car loans, or credit card debt.

How Long is it Really Going to Take to Improve My Credit Score?

There isn’t a hard and fast rule or magic formula concerning how long it will take to raise your credit score. While some experts such as personal finance columnist and author Liz Weston argue that it can happen in as little as 30 to 60 days, it is oftentimes much longer and will require an action plan and possibly a consultation with a financial adviser or attorney.

Ways to Accelerate an Improvement to Your Credit Score

As stated above, every case is different and the exact time needed to raise you credit score will vary. But there are things you can do now, according to the Federal Reserve Bank, to help improve your situation. First, have current copies of your credit report. Under federal law, you are entitled to free report from the three main credit reporting agencies every year. Second, always pay your bills on time. One key way to do this is to set up automatic payments so the money comes directly out of your checking or savings account without having to remember to pay the bill. Be sure to pay down your credit card debt, if you have the means available to you. Finally, be sure to dispute any errors on your credit report as soon as possible.

How Long Does it Take for a Bankruptcy to be Removed?

One major way to improve your credit score is to not have a bankruptcy on your credit report. If you have declared bankruptcy, you will have to wait a while for it to disappear from your credit report, hence improving your total credit score. Specifically, Chapter 13 bankruptcies take seven years to disappear, while Chapter 7 bankruptcies take 10 years. That’s a long time to wait, but it is the law.

How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Credit Score: Related Resources

Need Help with Your Credit Score? Get a Free Attorney Match

Your credit score can become increasingly important as you move throughout the different stages in your life. Whether buying a home, trying take out a personal loan, or paying for college, you credit score matters. If you have questions about how to repair your credit score and what the law, says you should speak with a consumer law attorney who specializes in credit repair to learn more about your options. You can start with an initial review of your situation at no charge.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified consumer attorney to assist with any credit, banking, or finance issues you face.

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