People ask us this question, more than any other question: how much of a jump, or boost, will adding tradelines give my FICO scores? It’s a fairly simple answer, though in all cases we can’t say exactly how much of a jump adding a line or two or three will give reports. You’re looking to boost your credit, but nobody who sells tradelines is working from the Fair Isaac Corporation, so in all cases of adding tradelines, it’s an educated guess on how far your scores will go up. We know what you’re thinking, “hmm, I want to boost credit with tradelines, how much is the boost, you can’t tell me? I need to know.” We don’t know. Only the internal (secret) algorithms of the bureaus know. Let’s look at a scenario: you call up a company with a credit booster program and have a long, or even a short, conversation. And they (hopefully) diagnose what is going on with your credit, they look at your reports, and at that point you ask “How much can you boost my credit?” They say, 200 points, for sure. Run!!! Anyone who says they can boost your score by an exact amount is not being truthful, and you should run, run fast, from anyone who gives you concrete numbers. What in life is guaranteed, really? Is there even a guarantee that you will wake up tomorrow to see the sunrise, if you were so inclined? Not to be morbid, but no, this is not guaranteed. Any number of scenarios could occur that would prevent you from waking up in time, even waking up alive.
Okay fine, then just how fast can you make my credit better?
We like to think of tradelines like coffee. Coffee is good, great, and most everyone in the modern world is addicted to it. You might think of coffee as something you order daily (or however frequently) from a major corporation, or you may grind up the beans and stick them in a french press, or have little cups you use in your Keurig machine. You likely think of coffee as what you drink, but that’s the end product. Coffee trees typically take 3-4 years to bear fruit (the cherries that coffee beans come from), then the cherries must be processed, and shipped–half the world’s coffee comes from Ethiopia.
If you want to buy good credit by adding tradelines to your report, it’s like mixing up a cup of joe. There’s a bit of a process, and that process is preparing your reports by removing negatives. That’s credit boost 101. If you don’t have negatives and just lack data, or you are in the position where you have never in your life used credit (you’re young, just never had to) then you could be looking at a quick credit boost. Adding new data, or changing the data by paying down cards, takes a few days or even a week or two before the bureaus will reflect the new information. In that sense there really isn’t such a thing as an instant credit boost. But this shouldn’t discourage you, as we are sure you have plans you need to put in place before you get your credit score where you want it to be, shop around for that house, that car, or make your vision board for what changes your life will take on once you hit that mid 700 score. And this is not to say that there’s no such thing as quick credit boosters.
We mentioned earlier about paying down balances. If you are in position to do so, paying down your highly utilized cards will give you a quick jump–even one maxed out card, depending on the limit, can drop your score 80-100 points. Doing that, or adding a tradeline to a well-prepared (or blank) report is about as close to a secret 72 hour credit boost as you will find–and in some cases, not often but it is possible, we can add lines that fast. If you are in a position where you need credit, paying down those balances or adding tradelines is the most effective credit booster around. You’ll think someone strapped a nitrous-injected combustion engine to those reports.