How to Raise Your Credit Scores Fast | Equifax (2024)


  • Improving your credit scores generally takes time and patience, but there are strategies to consider if you're aiming to increase your credit scores quickly.
  • Check your credit reports for incorrect information that may be dragging you down.
  • 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.

A poor credit history can be a big financial roadblock, but there are strategies available to help you improve your situation. In many cases, improving your credit scores takes time and patience. However, there are steps you can take if you're aiming to increase your credit scores quickly.

How are your credit scores calculated?

Your credit scores are based on the information included in your credit reports. Different lenders may use different credit score models for these calculations; however, most scoring models consider the following factors:

  • Payment history, which is a record of how you repay borrowed funds.
  • Credit utilization ratio, which represents the amount of revolving credit you're using divided by the total revolving credit available to you. Lenders typically like to see a credit utilization ratio of 30% or below.
  • Hard inquiries, which help lenders track how often a borrower has requested a new credit account. Too many hard inquiries could suggest that you're attempting to borrow more than you can reasonably pay back.
  • Length of credit history, which is determined by how long your various credit accounts have been open. Generally, the older your accounts are, the better.
  • Credit mix, which refers to the different kinds of credit you have, including revolving credit, such as credit cards, and installment loans, such as mortgages and student loans.

What is a realistic timeline for improving your credit scores?

Changes to your credit scores rarely happen overnight — even if you're taking action to make improvements quickly. Your credit scores typically update once per month, but it's possible they may update more frequently depending on your unique financial situation.

It's up to your individual lenders to decide when (and if) they will report any new information to the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Lenders that choose to report information will typically do so monthly, but the time of month can vary from lender to lender.

If you have a particular time frame in which you're hoping to improve your credit scores, such as during a mortgage application, you might also consider what's known as a “rapid rescore.” During the rapid rescore process, individuals work with a lender or broker to recalculate their credit scores and may even run special reports to help strategize which habits might result in a credit score increase.

Rapid rescoring typically takes three to five business days to complete and is generally most helpful when someone is actively evaluating your credit scores, such as when you apply for a loan. Under most other circ*mstances, it's better to wait for your credit scores to update on their own.

What actions you can take to boost your credit scores?

Review your credit reports for errors and dispute any inaccuracies. The first and most important thing you can do is to review your credit reports for incorrect information that may be dragging you down. If you find a mistake — an account that isn't yours, for example — you can dispute it with the relevant CRA. If the error was particularly harmful, you may see a large jump in your scores once the dispute is resolved.

Keep paying your bills on time. In many credit scoring formulas, your payment history has the greatest effect on your overall credit scores. So, it's critical to make payments on time. Even if you can't afford to pay your balance in full every month, try to pay the minimum — your credit scores will thank you. If you're prone to forgetfulness, you might consider setting up an autopay option. Some lenders may even give you a break on your interest rate for enabling autopay on your loan. And if you miss a payment, reach out to your lender immediately to negotiate a repayment plan or ask for late payment forgiveness.

Improve your credit mix. Take a look at what kinds of credit accounts you have and classify each as either installment credit (a fixed amount you borrow and pay back in installments, such as a mortgage) or revolving credit (a credit line you can access at any time and pay back as you use it, such as a credit card).

If you only have auto and student loans, which are both forms of installment credit, your credit mix is lacking in diversity, which can have a negative impact on your credit scores in some credit scoring models. To diversify your credit mix and potentially improve your scores, you might consider opening an affordable credit card with good interest rates. On the other hand, if you only have credit cards, you might seek out a pre-qualification offer for a small personal loan, with the goal of diversifying your credit mix. In either case, you can identify products made especially for borrowers with a poor or limited credit history, such as a credit-builder loan or a secured credit card.

Just remember: New requests for credit are likely to result in a hard inquiry on your credit reports. Too many hard inquiries too close together could negatively impact your credit scores, so be careful about how frequently you open new accounts.

Improve credit utilization. Lowering your credit utilization ratio will often boost your credit scores, especially if your starting point is above the ideal 30% mark. There are several ways to accomplish this. You can:

  • Pay your bills more frequently. Keeping your credit balance as low as possible at all times is an excellent way to reduce credit utilization, which means you'll need to pay your bills more frequently than once a month at the end of the billing cycle. You can strategize the timing of any extra payments by contacting your bank or credit card company to find out when they send your information to the nationwide CRAs — and then paying your bill just before they report.
  • Pay down your debt but keep old credit accounts open. Paying off your full balance is good for your financial profile and your credit scores, but don't close that account just yet. Although eliminating existing debt will decrease the amount of credit you're currently using, closing the account entirely will lower your total available credit, which can increase your credit utilization ratio. To avoid this scenario, keep old accounts open and active with occasional small charges.
  • Request an increase to your credit limit. Raising your credit limit on an existing account increases the amount of credit available to you and can decrease your credit utilization ratio. You can ask a current lender for a credit limit increase, especially if your income has increased since you last applied for a credit card, or you can open an entirely new credit account. If you're approved, your primary concern should still be repayment. Never charge anything you can't afford to pay back on time.

Read more

  • How to Improve Your Credit Score
  • How to Build Credit

How soon can you see improvement?

The length of time it will take to improve your credit scores depends on your unique financial situation.

At the earliest, you may see a change between 30 and 45 days after you have taken steps to positively impact your credit reports. This is how long it generally takes lenders to notify the nationwide CRAs of information relating to your accounts. In other cases, it may take a few months more for any positive measures to make a cumulative impact. And if you are waiting for negative information to fall off your credit reports, it may take up to a year or more to see a major change.

Remember: High credit scores are a result of good financial habits maintained over a long period of time. So, while certain behaviors may help in the short term there's no single, magic solution to build a positive credit history quickly. Aim to establish and maintain good credit habits and have patience with the process so that you can build a positive credit history in the long term as well.

How to Raise Your Credit Scores Fast | Equifax (2024)


How to Raise Your Credit Scores Fast | Equifax? ›

Get a Handle on Bill Payments

That is why, for example, it's better to have paid-off debts (such as your old student loans) remain on your record. If you paid your debts responsibly and on time, it works in your favor. So a simple way to raise your credit score is to avoid late payments at all costs.

What brings your credit score up the fastest? ›

4 tips to boost your credit score fast
  • Pay down your revolving credit balances. If you have the funds to pay more than your minimum payment each month, you should do so. ...
  • Increase your credit limit. ...
  • Check your credit report for errors. ...
  • Ask to have negative entries that are paid off removed from your credit report.

What is the trick to increasing your credit score? ›

Get a Handle on Bill Payments

That is why, for example, it's better to have paid-off debts (such as your old student loans) remain on your record. If you paid your debts responsibly and on time, it works in your favor. So a simple way to raise your credit score is to avoid late payments at all costs.

How can I improve my credit score urgently? ›

5 steps to improve your credit score
  1. Clear all your existing debt.
  2. Pay your EMIs on time.
  3. Limit your credit utilisation.
  4. Report discrepancies in your credit report, if any.
  5. Borrow a mix of credit.

What is the fastest way to raise my credit score 100 points? ›

Here are 10 ways to increase your credit score by 100 points - most often this can be done within 45 days.
  1. Check your credit report. ...
  2. Pay your bills on time. ...
  3. Pay off any collections. ...
  4. Get caught up on past-due bills. ...
  5. Keep balances low on your credit cards. ...
  6. Pay off debt rather than continually transferring it.

How can I raise my credit score 100 points overnight? ›

10 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
  1. Review Your Credit Report. ...
  2. Pay Your Bills on Time. ...
  3. Ask for Late Payment Forgiveness. ...
  4. Keep Credit Card Balances Low. ...
  5. Keep Old Credit Cards Active. ...
  6. Become an Authorized User. ...
  7. Consider a Credit Builder Loan. ...
  8. Take Out a Secured Credit Card.

How can I raise my credit score 200 points in 30 days? ›

How to Raise Your Credit Score by 200 Points
  1. Get More Credit Accounts.
  2. Pay Down High Credit Card Balances.
  3. Always Make On-Time Payments.
  4. Keep the Accounts that You Already Have.
  5. Dispute Incorrect Items on Your Credit Report.

What are five 5 ways anyone can boost their credit score? ›

Here are five credit-boosting tips.
  • Pay your bills on time. Why it matters. Your payment history makes up the largest part—35 percent—of your credit score. ...
  • Keep your balances low. Why it matters. ...
  • Don't close old accounts. Why it matters. ...
  • Have a mix of loans. Why it matters. ...
  • Think before taking on new credit. Why it matters.

Can I pay someone to fix my credit? ›

You can always try to repair your credit yourself; however, depending on your financial situation, working with a reputable credit repair service may save you time and provide a better outcome in the long run.

How quickly can you improve a bad credit score? ›

Unfortunately, there is no quick way to "repair" or "fix" your credit. The length of time it takes to rebuild your credit history depends on how serious your credit issues were and how your credit history was affected. It could take just a few months, or it could require several years of commitment.

Can credit score go back up fast? ›

A common rule of thumb is to keep your overall credit utilization below 30%. If you do end up with a higher credit utilization or even max out your credit cards, you can always work on paying down the balances and see your credit score recover in just a few months.

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.

Should I pay off my credit card in full or leave a small balance? ›

It's a good idea to pay off your credit card balance in full whenever you're able. Carrying a monthly credit card balance can cost you in interest and increase your credit utilization rate, which is one factor used to calculate your credit scores.

What credit score is needed to buy a house? ›

For a conventional mortgage in California, you typically need a minimum score of at least 600. If you qualify for certain government-backed loans, however, you may be able to buy a home with a score as low as 500.

How to get a 700 credit score in 30 days? ›

Steps you can take to raise your credit score quickly include:
  1. Lower your credit utilization rate.
  2. Ask for late payment forgiveness.
  3. Dispute inaccurate information on your credit reports.
  4. Add utility and phone payments to your credit report.
  5. Check and understand your credit score.
  6. The bottom line about building credit fast.

How to get a 700 credit score in 2 months? ›

Pay on Time, Every Time

Your payment history is the most important factor in determining your credit score. Making on-time payments every month is crucial to getting your credit score above 700. If you have some late payments on your credit report, it may make it more difficult to build your credit score.

How many points does your credit score go up each month? ›

It all depends on your unique situation and the specific actions you're taking to improve your credit. Realistically, you probably won't see your credit score increase by more than 10 points in a month.

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

Creditors typically report updated information monthly, so it is possible to improve your score by 100 points in 30 days. It will likely take several months for your score to realize its full potential, though. You can use WalletHub's free credit score simulator to learn how different actions can affect your credit.

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