How Long Does It Take to Improve Credit Score?

by Josh Biggs in Finance on 26th August 2021

Raising a credit score is not a simple task. If your borrowing history contains errors, only formal disputes will make them disappear. Whether you tackle repair on your own or enlist the help of experts, be patient. Results do not appear overnight. Even the most basic cases require over a month of work and waiting.

So, how much time do you need? On average, corrections take between 3 and 6 months. This depends on the condition of your records. The more mistakes — the longer. As you can see from reviews for Credit Saint, even top agencies cannot boost your score in a week. Fixing is never quick, but rebuilding does not happen overnight, either. 

Repair or Rebuild?

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s study, a fifth of all scores are flawed. Consumers are judged unfairly due to reporting errors. Any of your histories — i.e., reports from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — may be erroneous. This skews the score, which may only be corrected through a dispute. Once false details vanish, the total jumps. If there is nothing to fix, you may need to learn about debt settlement and change your borrowing behavior.

Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act, every bureau must provide verifiable and substantiated information. Unfortunately, filing a dispute is complicated, as you must follow a strict procedure and collect sufficient evidence to back up your claim. Borrowers who do not want to navigate credit laws opt for delegation. Professional repair is a vast industry with millions of clients. 

Acceleration is one of the main advantages of paid repair. For $79-$129 per month, the experts will complete all stages from analysis to disputes on your behalf. They will communicate with the banks and collection agencies to gather proof. This is particularly convenient when two or more reports are flawed, or the number of errors is substantial. Depending on the company and service plan, you may open a limited or unlimited number of disputes per billing cycle, which usually lasts for 30 days.

How Rebuilding Works

Credit fixers may not delete verifiable contents of your files. However, you may boost the total by working with different dimensions of the borrowing experience. For example, 35% of the FICO score depends on the timeliness of payments. 30% is defined by the total amount owed, including balances and limits on credit cards. 15% is base on the length of your history, while new accounts and credit mix contribute 10% each.

The time you need depends on your starting point and goals. If you are planning to apply for any specific service, find out the requirements beforehand. In FICO and VantageScore, a consumer is assigned a total between 300 and 850. On average, you need at least 670 to be viewed as an eligible borrower, but this depends on the loan and institution. For example, mortgages insured by the state are more accessible. Check your score on My FICO

The quickest results may be achieved by adjusting credit utilization and adding information through Experian Boost. In the first case, you need to reduce the ratio between the balances and limits on all credit cards to 10%. This may be done by paying off some debt, extending the limit, getting a new credit card, or becoming an authorized user on someone else’s account. Adding utility payments, phone bills and subscriptions to the Experian report may give 12 points on average. 

Key Stages of Repair

Credit repair begins with a consultation, which may be free or paid depending on the firm. The experts will examine your case and suggest the best course of action. Bear in mind that this is not a science, so there are no guarantees in terms of score rise. Choose a company with a money-back policy to have peace of mind.

  1. Analysis

The team will obtain your reports from the three sources and scrutinize them carefully. You, too, can collect them online from after submitting basic personal information and your Social Security number. This is the most convenient way, as you do not have to contact each bureau separately.

After collecting the data, the staff will pore over each line looking for disputable inconsistencies. This may include the following:

  • accounts you do not recognize
  • incorrect amounts
  • false events
  • expired items
  • missing information

Every lender may share data with one, two, or three agencies. All bureaus work independently, so every version of your history is unique. Most negative information stays relevant for 7 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are the most damaging, as their effects linger for a decade. There is no way to remove accurate derogatories — you may only wait for them to expire. In the meantime, work with other elements of your score.

False events may show different types of derogatories. These are entries documenting failure to fulfill obligations. For example, your score may be pulled down by:

  • missed or late payments
  • collections
  • bankruptcies
  • evictions
  • repossessions, etc. 
  1. Finding Evidence

To ensure success, consumers must provide evidence supporting their demands. Bank statements and other documents from lenders are copied. Experts submit the proof to the bureaus together with their dispute letters. Any information that may not be verified will be deleted.  

  1. Initiating Disputes

Dispute letters must include your personal information, the accounts in question, and the derogatories you want to be removed. Do not use ordinary mail. Certified mail with a return receipt requested is the best option. You will know when your letter is received, and when a formal response is expected.

The bureau will have 30 days to perform its investigation. It will examine the claims and the evidence. The agency will also liaise with the lenders concerned to verify the data they reported. Eventually, you will get a reply by mail. If the changes are accepted and the report is amended, the bureau will also mail a free copy of the document. 

Do the Math

Every claim takes 30 days to investigate (45 days in special situations). Add the time needed to analyze your records, find the errors and evidence. As you can see, even correcting one item requires more than a month. Check your reports regularly and fix the errors as soon as they arise. Do not wait for mistakes to accumulate, pushing your score down to “fair” or “poor” credit levels. 

Categories: Finance