We talk a lot about the length of time it takes to get things off your credit report, of not falling into the trap of trying to chase after instant gratification–seriously, grab a candy bar it’ll do a similar trick–and we also talk about being realistic. Looking into ways to raise credit score 100 points overnight is really not part of actual reality. You may end up with a 100 point (or more) jump if you do things right, but it won’t be overnight. People call us all day every day asking how they can get into a better credit position, but it’s very simple, as far as how to improve your credit score goes anyway. When it comes down to credit, there are three things: negative data that can be removed, negative data that cannot be removed, and adding positive data. These are the main overall, most general factors when it comes to your credit. So, first off, the negatives.
How can I fix my credit score?
When people talk about “fixing” their reports, it usually means removing the negatives, but it could also mean they have a number inside their heads that means great credit and that’s what they want and they want what they want despite not knowing how to get there. That’s fine. We get people who don’t know much about credit calling us all day long asking us “How long does it take to improve my credit score?” without any idea of how to do it. That’s why they are calling us. But the first step is always taking away the negatives. There are some negatives that cannot be removed, late payments, bankruptcy; and there are some that can, collections, chargeoffs. The secret is getting what you can removed, so you can be the best possible position to raise credit score profiles across all three bureaus. There are also certain parts of your reports that aren’t necessarily negative, but also affect your credit when overdone. We’re talking about inquiries here. We hear the common refrain: why do we get penalized for applying for credit? It’s a fair question, but we don’t exactly live in a society that demonstrates self control on a general level. If people could apply for credit without consequence, then they would apply, over and over and over. This would take up time, on everyone’s part, so making the inquiries a part of your score is a subtle way of seeing if you have self control enough to know that a decline means “Stop.”
As far as the negative marks that cannot be removed, inquiries, late payments, bankruptcies, and the like, the only thing that can help these is time. That is perhaps not what anyone wants to hear, but even if you have many late payments, these will stop affecting you so much after six months or so. Inquiries do not count against your score if over a year old and drop off completely after two years. Unfortunately, with bankruptcies, the answer to how long does it take to improve credit score is not so simple. After all, a BK is only a single negative mark, and you can certainly put your credit score back in order quickly if it is the only one. What you can get approved at that point is where it gets hazier, though we see plenty of people with credit card approvals after a BK. So, okay, let’s say you’ve got the negatives off, now it’s time to…
Buy credit lines
If you take a neutrally buoyant object, it will not move up until you add something that makes it positively buoyant. A credit report that has the negatives removed is like a neutrally buoyant object. You can see a report with a 560 not move at all when removing all collections, even to the point that the report is basically wiped clean. This is when you need to get positive data added, either through purchasing them or through getting approved for ones on your own. The problem is that it’s hard to get approvals when you don’t have anything on your credit. This is why buying seasoned credit lines is even a thing. Overall, the time it takes to improve a credit report can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months (or longer). The temptation in trying to take shortcuts by purchasing another credit profile may be great, but it’s always better to improve the profile issued to you by the SS administration.