Wondering how long it takes to get a good credit score? Having a low FICO score can be frustrating. The good news is that you can work towards improving your credit! Keep reading to learn how long it generally takes to establish good credit.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Credit Score?
Consumers have a “thin credit file” when there is insufficient information to generate a credit score. You establish credit reports with the three major credit bureaus by borrowing money or using a credit line with a financial institution that reports your payment history.
If you have never had credit cards or loans before, you will not have a credit score. The good news is that you can acquire a credit score by borrowing money or using a line of credit.
It takes about six months for a person to get a credit score for the first time. FICO requires borrowers to meet three specific criteria to receive a credit score:
- You must have at least one credit account that’s been open for six months.
- You must have at least one credit account with activity reported to the credit bureaus within the past six months.
- There must not be an indication that you are currently deceased on your credit report.
If you meet these three criteria, you can expect to receive a credit score six months from when you first opened a financial account.
How Long Does It Take To Improve Your Credit Score?
If you have negative information on your credit report, it may take time for you to improve your credit score. However, working hard to rebuild your credit can help you bounce back!
Read about a few negative credit actions below and how long it may take for your credit score to recover.
Has a creditor charged off your unpaid account and sent it to a collection agency? In that case, you can expect the credit bureau to remove the account in seven years. The start of seven years begins on the date of your first missed payment or charge-off status. Paying off collections can improve your credit score over time, but the account will remain on your credit report.
The major credit bureaus consider a Foreclosure to be a negative account. Negative accounts will remain on your credit report for seven years from the date of the first missed payment that resulted in a negative status.
There are different types of bankruptcy, and they all affect your credit history in different ways. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will remain on your credit file for ten years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain for seven.
Missing a payment can drastically affect your credit. A late payment will remain on a credit report for up to seven years from the missed payment date. The negative entry cannot be removed from a credit report, even if you eventually make the payment.
Essential Factors for a Credit Report
FICO is one of the leading credit scoring models used by lenders and credit card issuers. A credit scoring model is a mathematical model used to evaluate your creditworthiness.
Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and a good credit score is generally any score higher than 670. The higher the number, the better you look to lenders and credit card companies. Five critical factors on a credit report determine your credit score and each is worth a small percentage. If you want to build credit, keep these scoring factors in mind.
Payment history affects your credit score by 35%. Ensuring you make on-time payments can help you maintain a good score. But if you miss a payment, that negative information will remain on your credit history for seven years! Late payments can be a red flag for creditors, and you may not receive the best financial opportunities.
Credit Utilization Ratio
Your credit utilization ratio is the total amount of debt you have compared to the amount of money you have available to spend. This factor accounts for 30% of credit scores. Ideally, you should not use more than 30% of your available credit.
You may wonder if it is bad to have multiple credit cards, and it’s not! What matters is how much money you keep available. If your credit limit is $15,000 across multiple credit cards, you should not use more than $4,500. You can manage a credit card wisely by paying more than the minimum and not maxing out your credit line.
Credit History Length
The longer you manage financial accounts, the higher your credit score can be. The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO score. You can still get a good credit score if you are new to credit despite having a short credit history.
The type of financial accounts you have can affect your FICO score by 10%. Having a mix of revolving credit and installment loans can actually be beneficial. Successfully managing different accounts can help you build good credit, but it is not necessary.
Applying for a loan or credit card can damage your credit score by up to five points. The total amount of inquiries you make accounts for 10% of your credit. If you have bad credit, you may have to apply with multiple creditors to get approval. Luckily, many people with low credit scores may qualify for loan options that don’t require credit checks, like fast payday loans.
How to Quickly Get Good Credit
If you want to get good credit as quickly as possible, options are available! The financial opportunities listed below can help you build credit to get a strong credit score.
Use a Credit Builder Loan
A credit builder loan is a small installment loan specifically designed to help borrowers build credit. The lender will deposit your loan money into a secured savings account. They will report your on-time payments to the credit reporting agencies. Once you successfully repay the credit builder loan, the money is released from the savings account and dispersed to you.
Use a Secured Credit Card
A secured credit card is similar to a traditional credit card, but a security deposit is required. The amount of money you use to get a secured card is how much you will have to spend.
The lender will report your payment history, so ensure you always make payments on time. Also make sure the credit card issuer reports to all three major credit bureaus so you can receive the maximum benefits of reliable payments. Remember that you can lose your security deposit if you cannot meet the repayment obligations.
Pay Bills on Time
Paying your bills on time is one of the best ways to get good credit history. Lenders want to see proof of good credit habits, and avoiding missed payments is the key. Aside from creditors, many vendors and service providers report payment history to credit reporting agencies. This includes phone companies and utility companies. If you constantly forget to pay your bills, ask about automatic payments. This way, your bill amount is automatically deducted from a debit or credit card, so you never worry about missed payments.
Monitor Your Credit Reports
It’s essential to monitor your credit reports to ensure they are correct. Mistakes happen, and any one of your credit report may have an error on it. Errors can negatively affect your credit score, even if you are a responsible borrower. The most common mistakes include incorrect dates on payments and inaccurate account balances.
The amount of time it takes to get good credit varies based on your past financial history. But even if you currently have bad credit, there are steps you can take to steadily increase your credit score. Patience and responsible credit habits will pay off in the end.