Your credit score is a number that lenders use to determine your creditworthiness. It can often be the difference between being approved for a loan or not, and the interest rate you're going to pay on it. If your credit score isn't very high, you may want to know how long it's going to take to rebuild it.
First: Sign Up for Credit Monitoring and Pull Your Credit Report
It can be difficult to keep track of your credit score while you are rebuilding it, especially if you have had some major setbacks. However, the more diligent you are about checking on your score, the better off you're going to be in the long run. Before you get started, pull your credit report and set up credit monitoring. Credit monitoring will alert you if there's an issue, such as a new card opened under your name.
Immediate Changes to Your Credit Score
One of the first things you can do is contact each of the three major credit reporting agencies, and ask them to send you a copy of your credit report. You may be able to find these reports online as well. If there are any errors on your credit report that need correcting, you can contact the credit reporting agency. These changes will improve your credit score immediately.
A second "immediate" step is to sign up for Experian and attach your bank account. They'll look at the utility payments you've made and whether they've been on time and assign your credit score a little boost.
Fast Ways to Change Your Credit Score
Pay off your debt and get increases to your credit lines for semi-fast changes to your credit score. These changes should hit within a month or two.
Other things that can change your credit score quickly include:
- Closing an account (for the better)
- Settling civil judgments or liens
- Paying off a small debt from collections
As you move forward with rebuilding your credit, you should work toward making as many positive changes as possible.
Long-Term Changes to Your Credit Score
While it is possible to bring your credit score up in a few months, this isn't advisable. You should try and give yourself at least six months before you see any major changes in your score. This is because what you really want to do is develop positive spending habits.
You can improve your credit by making all of your payments on time, keeping credit card balances low, and paying your bills. If you have to use your card for regular purchases, try to pay it off every month so the balance doesn't continue to grow.
Improving your credit is usually a long-term mission. But there are things you can do to improve your credit fast. Overall, achieving "good" credit from "poor" (or nonexistent) credit should take around a year. Talk to a company like Credit Scoring Advisor for more information.