Do you have a bad credit score? When you’re dealing with bad credit or lots of debt, it’s easy to feel as though it’ll never get better.
Don’t lose hope, though. Lots of people have rebuilt their credit after making mistakes, and you can, too.
Now, you might be wondering, “how long does it take to rebuild credit?”
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount of time it takes to rebuild your credit depends on a lot of factors.
Read on to learn more about the credit rebuilding process. This information will help you figure out how long it’ll take you to rebuild your credit.
Factors That Influence Your Credit Score
Before getting into the amount of time it takes to rebuild your credit, it’s important to understand the various factors that influence your credit score.
Many people are unaware of all the different factors that can raise and lower their scores. But, once you’re aware of these, you can identify the problems that are affecting your score and start making changes to rebuild your credit.
Some factors that have the greatest influence on your credit score include:
- Whether or not you’ve been making credit card and loan payments on time
- Errors on your credit report
- The amount of money you’re paying off with each payment (are you making just the minimum payment or paying off the full balance?)
- The number of open credit lines you have (this includes mortgages, credit cards, and student loans)
- Your credit utilization ratio (this is the amount you’ve borrowed from your available credit)
Frequent late payments, credit report errors, paying only the minimum payment, having several open lines of credit, and having a high credit utilization ratio can all have a negative impact on your credit score.
So, How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Credit?
Okay, you understand that there are lots of factors that influence your credit. But, how long will it take you to address these issues and boost your score?
Generally speaking, it takes about a year to recover and rebuild your credit. Keep in mind, though, that everyone has a different definition of what it means to rebuild their credit.
For example, if you currently have a bad credit score and want to work your way up to an excellent one, it’s going to take some time. We’re talking about raising your score several hundred points, after all. But, if you’re just trying to raise your credit score from “poor” to “fair,” you’ll be able to raise it more quickly.
Your credit history matters, too. If minor mistakes have been affecting your score, they can be rectified more easily. More serious mistakes, though, will take longer to erase and will have a negative impact on your credit score for a longer period of time.
Remember to be patient. It took a while for your credit score to get to the point it is now. It will take a while for you to bring it back up, too.
Tips to Rebuild Credit Faster
If you want to speed up the process of rebuilding your credit, you might want to try implementing some of these strategies:
Review Your Credit Report
Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report. You can get a free copy from each of the three credit bureaus.
Evaluate your credit report and look for any errors that are negatively impacting your score. Incorrect personal information, old debts, or unauthorized accounts or credit checks can all have an effect on your score.
If you notice any errors, reach out to the credit bureaus and work on getting them fixed.
Look for other factors that could be influencing your score, too. This includes late payments or accounts that have gone to collections. Once you figure out all the things that are hurting your credit score, you can start working on changing them.
Catch up on Late Payments
Late payments can have a serious effect on your credit score.
If you have a hard time keeping track of when your payments are due, try setting alarms on your phone or writing the due dates down on your calendar.
If this doesn’t work, consider setting up automatic payments. That way, you won’t have to worry about paying your credit card bills and loan payments on time.
Of course, you’ll need to make sure you have money in the bank at all times. If the payments can’t go through because of insufficient funds, you’re only going to end up with more credit damage.
Avoid Adding to Your Debt
While you’re working on rebuilding your credit, it’s a good idea to avoid taking on additional debt.
Don’t open any new credit accounts or apply for any new loans. Avoid using your credit cards, too.
Instead, focus solely on paying down your debt and paying off those remaining credit balances.
Consider Using a Secured Credit Card
If you don’t want to add to your debt but want another way to continue building your credit, you might also want to apply for a secured credit card.
With a secured card, you’ll pay a security deposit that will act as your line of credit.
Thanks to the security deposit, you’re almost always guaranteed to be approved for a secured credit card. They’re also less expensive for people who have bad credit, and they’re identical to unsecured cards on a credit report.
As long as you don’t max out your spending limit and pay the monthly bills on time, this will help you build up your credit more quickly and with very little risk.
Looking for More Credit Rebuilding Advice?
You now have a more detailed answer to the question, “how long does it take to rebuild credit?” But, you probably still have questions about how you should go about rebuilding your credit.
If you’re not sure how to go about improving your credit score, check out the credit repair section of our website today.
You’ll have access to tons of great articles that will help you boost your credit score and gain financial freedom once and for all.