How Long Does It Take To Increase Your Credit Score? | Bankrate (2024)

Key takeaways

  • Your credit score is based on a formula that takes five different contributing factors into account
  • The time it takes to raise your credit score depends upon the reason(s) that your score is lower in the first place
  • The longer your accounts are open and in good standing, the better it will reflect on your credit score
  • There are several things you can do to raise your credit score, starting with making all payments on time

How fast can you raise your credit score? That’s a question you may find yourself asking, especially if you’re looking to make a big purchase or qualify for a more exclusive credit card. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are things you can do to help get your credit score more in line with where you want it to be.

To break it down, the time it’ll take to raise your credit score depends on the reason your score needs boosting in the first place. If your score is low because you don’t have much credit history or you’re just starting your credit-building journey, you may be able to boost your score within months.

It may take a little more time if your score is low from the amount of debt you have, but finding the right debt relief option can help you get on the right track.

If you’ve hurt your creditworthiness through missed payments or going through bankruptcy, making your way back to a healthy credit score will take even more patience. In certain cases, a full recovery can take years.

Think of your credit report as a history of your past relationships with credit. If you consistently made late payments (or missed payments), for example, those derogatory marks are likely to stay on your report for a long time. Let’s take a closer look at how long different derogatory marks stay on your credit report, how long it takes to raise your credit score and some of the top steps you can take to improve your credit score.

Raising your score depends on your starting point

Your credit score isn’t just a judgment call; it’s determined through a formula that considers five primary factors. Listed in order of importance, each of the following factors can raise or lower your credit score:

  • Payment history (35 percent)
  • Credit utilization (30 percent)
  • Length of credit history (15 percent)
  • Credit mix (10 percent)
  • New credit (10 percent)

Given that a history of consistent on-time payments is the most influential factor, being new to credit cards makes it easier to raise your credit profile. Every month you pay your cards on time will bump up your credit score, so set a routine, and you’ll likely be able to grow your creditworthiness quickly — as long as you can avoid missing a credit card payment.

Your credit utilization ratio (also referred to as your debt-to-available-credit ratio) is how much of your total credit limit you use across all of your lines of credit. Typically, you want to keep this figure between 10 and 30 percent to stay in good standing. Opening up new card accounts or getting a credit limit increase can help build credit by decreasing this ratio, but that isn’t all it takes. Paying off your outstanding balances also improves your credit utilization, thus improving your credit score.

The length of credit history refers to the average age of your credit accounts. The longer the account has been open, the better, so you may want to avoid closing an old account to keep yourself out of poor credit standing. There are cases where canceling a credit card account is the right move, but as a general rule, you’ll benefit from keeping old ones open.

Adding new types of debt into your profile such as personal loans or auto loans will give you a healthier credit mix and potentially raise your credit score. If you can manage the payments, opening new credit card accounts and other debt is generally beneficial. That being said, don’t apply for multiple new credit sources all at once — it doesn’t look good in the eyes of credit issuers, and it may become too much of a financial burden to bear.

If you want to boost your credit score after missing credit card or loan payments, declaring bankruptcy, defaulting on a loan, having a loan turned over to a collection agency or experiencing any other major financial issues, know that it can take years to rebuild your credit. But in nearly all cases, the process begins with the hard work of managing your budget and cutting back on spending so that you can make consistent, timely payments every month.

How long does it take for your credit score to go up?

The length of time it takes to raise your credit score depends on a combination of factors. Your financial habits, the initial cause of your low score and where you currently stand are all major ingredients, but there’s no exact recipe that will determine your repair timeline. However, there is data available from FICO that suggests how long it may take to bring your score back to its starting point after a financial mishap. The following data is an estimate of recovery time for people with poor to fair credit.

EventAverage credit score recovery time
Bankruptcy6+ years
Home foreclosure3 years
Missed/defaulted payment18 months
Late mortgage payment (30 to 90 days)9 months
Closing credit card account3 months
Maxed credit card account3 months
Applying for a new credit card3 months

How long do derogatory marks stay on your credit report?

The three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) determine your score, but it’s up to your lenders to contact them to report information about you. This can be as simple as your credit card company reporting that you made a monthly payment on time, increased your debt or decreased your balances. Each of these actions has a positive influences on your score, but there may be a slight lag in the timing of when your score will actually change, due to the reporting process.

In addition to a potential delay in the telephone game between your credit issuer and the credit bureaus, certain financial events can linger on your credit history for years. Unfortunately, the more harmful events are often the ones that stick around the longest, so it’s best to know what actions will be the biggest burdens:

EventAverage time on credit report
Late payments7 years
Foreclosures7 years
Debt collectionsUp to 7 years
Chapter 13 bankruptcy7 years
Chapter 7 bankruptcy10 years

This information may seem ominous, but here’s encouraging news: recency bias is alive and well in the credit scoring world. Even if they’re still present, the old items that appear on your report have less weight than your newer ones.

Top ways to raise your credit score

There are several things you can do in the short-term to try to better your credit score.

Improving your credit utilization will likely have the quickest impact. You can accomplish this action by paying down debt, upping your credit limit or opening a new credit account. Additionally, there are a couple other things you can do to start your journey to an increased score, including the following:

  • Make credit card payments on time. This activity is especially helpful for people with no credit history because you have the chance to prove yourself by being consistent right off the bat.
  • Remove incorrect or negative information from your credit reports. Oftentimes, you can challenge old information or dispute errors on your credit report to attempt to get the event removed.
  • Hold old credit accounts. Keeping accounts open that improve your length of credit will help your score as you better your habits.
  • Become an authorized user. When an account holder adds you to an existing credit card account as an authorized user, you are adding information to your own credit history by piggybacking on someone else’s. However, make sure the account reports to all three major credit bureaus to ensure the data is showing up on your credit report.
  • Use a secured credit card. When you have a limited credit history or a low credit score, a secured credit card can help you build up your credit score by generating a history of responsible use. Secured credit cards require a deposit in order to obtain a line of credit, and the line of credit is usually equal to the amount of the initial deposit.
  • Report rent and utility payments. A history of on-time rent and utility payments can really benefit your credit, but you may need to use an alternative reporting service if your landlord or property management company isn’t already reporting your rent payments. For example, you can use Experian Boost to add these accounts to your credit history.
  • Minimize credit inquiries. Every time you apply for a new credit card, your credit score takes a hit. You can avoid any unnecessary dings to your credit by researching credit options best for your financial needs. You may even consider using a service such as CardMatch™ to check out pre-qualified credit card offers.

The bottom line

As it is with many of life’s problems, there’s no better time to address the issue of a low credit score than now. By making on-time payments and carefully assessing your financial needs, you will be on the right track toward building strong credit.

Keep in mind that the path to financial recovery takes time, sometimes even years. But regardless of the dilemma you may find yourself in, a proactive approach is the best way to tackle financial recovery. Your credit score will thank you in the long run.

How Long Does It Take To Increase Your Credit Score? | Bankrate (2024)


How fast can you move up your credit score? ›

The length of time it will take to improve your credit scores depends on your unique financial situation, but you may see a change as soon as 30 to 45 days after you have taken steps to positively impact your credit reports.

How long will it take to get a 700 credit score? ›

The time it takes to increase a credit score from 500 to 700 might range from a few months to a few years. Your credit score will increase based on your spending pattern and repayment history. If you do not have a credit card yet, you have a chance to build your credit score.

How long does it take to raise credit score 100 points? ›

In fact, some consumers may even see their credit scores rise as much as 100 points in 30 days. Steps you can take to raise your credit score quickly include: Lower your credit utilization rate. Ask for late payment forgiveness.

How quickly can I improve credit score? ›

Depending on your unique financial situation, it can take anywhere from one month to a few years to improve your credit score. Improving your credit score isn't something you can achieve overnight, but don't let that dishearten you. Every credit score can be improved with a little commitment and perseverance.

How long does it take to build credit from 500 to 700? ›

The time it takes to raise your credit score from 500 to 700 can vary widely depending on your individual financial situation. On average, it may take anywhere from 12 to 24 months of responsible credit management, including timely payments and reducing debt, to see a significant improvement in your credit score.

Is 650 a good credit score? ›

As someone with a 650 credit score, you are firmly in the “fair” territory of credit. You can usually qualify for financial products like a mortgage or car loan, but you will likely pay higher interest rates than someone with a better credit score. The "good" credit range starts at 690.

Why did my credit score go from 524 to 0? ›

Credit scores can drop due to a variety of reasons, including late or missed payments, changes to your credit utilization rate, a change in your credit mix, closing older accounts (which may shorten your length of credit history overall), or applying for new credit accounts.

Can I buy a house with a 700 credit score? ›

Yes. Assuming the rest of your finances are solid, a credit score of 700 should qualify you for all major loan programs: conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans all have lower minimum requirements, and even jumbo loans require a 700 score at minimum.

Can I buy a house with a 685 credit score? ›

Conforming mortgages (conventional loans that meet the standards of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) require a score of 620, while FHA mortgages with low down payments require a 580. Your score puts you comfortably over both thresholds.

What credit score is needed to buy a car? ›

The credit score required and other eligibility factors for buying a car vary by lender and loan terms. Still, you typically need a good credit score of 661 or higher to qualify for an auto loan. About 69% of retail vehicle financing is for borrowers with credit scores of 661 or higher, according to Experian.

What credit score is needed to buy a house? ›

The minimum credit score needed for most mortgages is typically around 620. However, government-backed mortgages like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans typically have lower credit requirements than conventional fixed-rate loans and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

What is a good credit score to buy a house? ›

It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly mortgage payments.

What brings your credit score up the fastest? ›

Paying your bills on time Is one of the most important steps in improving your credit score. Pay down your credit card balances to keep your overall credit use low. You can also phone your credit card company and ask for a credit increase, and this shouldn't take more than an hour.

How fast does credit score go up after paying off a credit card? ›

How long after paying off debt will my credit scores change? The three nationwide CRAs generally receive new information from your creditors and lenders every 30 to 45 days. If you've recently paid off a debt, it may take more than a month to see any changes in your credit scores.

How long does it take to fix a poor credit score? ›

How long does it take for your credit score to go up?
EventAverage credit score recovery time
Missed/defaulted payment18 months
Late mortgage payment (30 to 90 days)9 months
Closing credit card account3 months
Maxed credit card account3 months
3 more rows
Jul 27, 2023

How to raise credit score 100 points in 30 days? ›

  1. Pay credit card balances strategically.
  2. Ask for higher credit limits.
  3. Become an authorized user.
  4. Pay bills on time.
  5. Dispute credit report errors.
  6. Deal with collections accounts.
  7. Use a secured credit card.
  8. Get credit for rent and utility payments.
Mar 26, 2024

How to go from 400 to 700 credit score? ›

How to Increase Your Credit Score in 6 Months
  1. Pay on time (35% of your score) The most critical part of a good credit score is your payment history. ...
  2. Reduce your debt (30% of your score) ...
  3. Keep cards open over time (15% of your score) ...
  4. Avoid credit applications (10% of your score) ...
  5. Keep a smart mix of credit types open (10%)
May 25, 2023

Can I raise my credit score 100 points in 6 months? ›

In fact, with some concentrated effort, it is entirely possible to raise your score by 100 points or more within six months or so. Of course, everyone's credit situation is unique, so it's difficult to pinpoint an exact range of improvement.

How long will it take to raise my credit score 200 points? ›

Patience is key here! It may take anywhere from six months to a few years to help raise your score by 200 points depending on your financial habits. As long as you stick to your credit-rebuilding plan and stay patient, you'll be able to help increase your credit score before you know it.

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