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How Long Does it Take to Raise Your Credit Score?

A listener asks: How long will it take to raise my credit score?

By
Laura Adams, MBA,
March 20, 2012

Evelyn wants to know:

I just got my free credit score and it's really low. I know it's bad because of old debts that I finally paid off. But I have a car loan and 2 credit cards that I'm not behind on. How long will it take to raise my credit score?

ANSWER: Unfortunately there's no way to know exactly how long it will take to improve your credit because everyone's situation is different.

How to Raise Your Credit Score

Here's what I recommend: Stay focused on what you can control when it comes to your credit. {C}Maintain good habits, like paying all your bills on time and never maxing out your credit cards. Pay down the balances on your credit cards so they never exceed 30% of your credit limit. For example, if you have a card with a $1,000 credit limit, never carry a balance that's higher than $300. The best way to raise your credit score is to use credit cards lightly and never let your balances get too high relative to your credit limits (even if you pay the balances off in full each month). Click here to get your free credit score and find out where you stand.

How Long Negative Information Stays on Your Credit Report

Accounts with late payments stay on your credit report for 7 years from the date you originally became past due--even if you paid off the account and closed it. However, as those accounts with negative information age, the less they hurt your credit.

Money Girl's Smart Moves to Grow Rich

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