If your credit score has declined for whatever reason, and now you're looking to get it back to a higher number, you're probably wondering, "How long does it take to build my credit score?" I have put together a comprehensive answer that will guide you.
It's important to note that it isn't your credit score that you improve, rather your credit report is what is improved that then gives you a new higher credit score. The time it takes to rebuild this history after a negative item lands on your credit report really depends on what has appeared.
For example, there might be a collection account, missed bill payments, bankruptcy, public record items etc. All of these will remain in your credit history and affect you negatively for a specific period of time. Delinquencies have a reporting period of seven years while bankruptcies remain for ten years. If lenders make inquiries into your credit history, it will remain for two years. The bottom line is that any kind of negative information on your report will eventually move out with time, but you should be taking active measures to keep building your credit.
If you have unhealthy credit and want to build your credit score enough to apply for ANY credit then make a plan and get organized to make sure no new derogatory will appear.
Here are some ways that you can impact the speed of getting back to credit health:
1. Understand what factors play a role in determining your credit score. These factors include: payment history, debts owed, length of credit history and types of credit used.
2. Some of your negative information might be incorrect so make sure you review your credit report thoroughly!
3. Lowering the debt you have on your credit cards. If you want to see improvement then focus on lowering or paying the balances off. You may not be able to do this quickly but put a plan together and the more you lower the debt the higher you can see a score increase.
4. Regardless of where you are starting from, ensure a lot of positive information is being accounted for on your credit reports monthly. For instance, you only have negative accounts reporting you may want to get a secured credit card. Start to build new healthy credit with this account and this in time can help your credit score.
What measures can you take to get the process started?
1. Order your credit report and check for errors. Dispute any errors you find.
2. Keep your lines of credit in good standing. Lenders will relay this positive information to credit bureaus. So, if you have paid late in the past make it a priority to pay all accounts on time moving forward starting today.
3. Do not close the account after it is paid, the goal is to have low or no balances and a high credit limit.
4. Take precautions such as set up bill payment reminders and set up automatic bill payment withdrawals.
5. Keep learning. Follow me on twitter for more credit tips or at my credit club.
The Bottom Line
There is no time line I can give you on exactly how long it will take to build your credit score. No matter what, I can tell you this, that if you at least start today on focusing on lowering your credit card balances and start paying all bills on time, that is a great start. In time you will look back and say, "wow! I did it!"