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Can You Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points in a Month?
Improving your credit score often requires a lot of patience, because a good credit score is built on years of responsible habits. If you ve made mistakes, they can be challenging to recover from, but it s a doable goal. Of course, if you want to buy a home, take out a personal loan or get a new credit card, you may not have a lot of time to boost your score. You need a quick route to the next-highest tier of credit quality if you want loan approval and affordable interest rates.
In the credit world, there aren t a lot of quick fixes, and some strategies for getting a significant score change are questionable, at best. There s nothing wrong with wanting a 100-point surge in your credit score, but it ll take time. It s not very realistic to expect such a drastic change in a month s time, said Gerri Detweiler, Credit.com s director of consumer education.
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How to Make Big Changes
Detweiler said there are a few reasons you might be able to pull off a major turnaround in a short period of time. If a negative item recently appeared on your credit report and you re able to have it removed, you may see a massive score change. For example: Say your healthcare provider sent a medical bill to the wrong address and it ended up in collections. A collection account can seriously harm your credit standing, but in a situation like a billing error, you re in a good position to negotiate the account off your credit report.
If the IRS placed a tax lien on you within the last few years and you enroll in the Fresh Start program, you have the ability to purge the lien from your credit report. Seriously negative tradelines that are only a few years or months old will have the biggest impact on your credit standing, so if you have cause to have them removed, it s possible to get that 100-point jump you re looking for.
It’s more likely to happen if there’s something seriously negative in the past few years that’s bringing down your score, Detweiler said. But even if you can’t boost it by 100 points, you can still make a significant improvement.
Set Realistic Goals
One of the easiest ways to drastically change your credit score is to focus on lowering your credit utilization. Keep your credit card balances as low as possible, relative to their limits, because credit utilization has a major impact on your credit score. Payment history is the most influential factor in determining credit scores, so make sure you don t slip up there, but credit utilization is nearly as important.
You can also try piggybacking on someone else s credit by asking a close friend or family member with excellent credit utilization to add you as an authorized user to one of his credit cards . This is a bit of an iffy strategy, Detweiler said, but it has the potential to improve your credit score in the short term. The primary accountholder needs to seriously consider how adding you as an authorized user may affect his or her finances. If your friend gives you a credit card tied to his/her account, their credit standing will be exposed to your spending habits, and they ll be on the hook for the bill. Set clear expectations before formally establishing this relationship. The primary accountholder may also want to consider adding you as an authorized user and not giving you the associated card, so you can t go rogue with it.
As far as score fluctuation goes, it s important to remember that your score will regularly change, because scores are generated in real time, and your creditors report to credit bureaus at different times throughout the month. Small changes, like a shift of 10 to 15 points in either direction, aren t cause for concern, but if your score moves more than 25 points within a month of checking it, you ll want to figure out why that happened. (Note: Make sure you re comparing the same scoring model based on the same credit report; otherwise, it ll be difficult to pinpoint the cause of the difference.)
The change could be as simple as a big change in your credit utilization, but it may also be an indication of identity theft. It s a good idea to keep an eye on your credit, regardless of your financial goals.
If you have only one negative tradeline on your credit report, it s going to be easier to quickly recover from the setback.
If it was a series of things or a gradual descent into debt, then it’s going to be harder to change, Detweiler said.
You can check two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com, and your personal dashboard will help you identify the problem areas in your credit history. From there, you can make a plan to move forward and monitor your credit as you strive for a higher score.
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Christine DiGangi covers personal finance for Credit.com. Previously, she managed communications for the Society of Professional Journalists, served as a copy editor of The New York Times News Service and worked as a reporter for the Oregonian and the News Record. More by Christine DiGangi
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http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler
According to the FCRA it says: before the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the agency receives the notice of the dispute from the consumer.
It depends on what the old judgment was for. Some types of judgments are not dischargeable in bankruptcy including child support, student loans, some taxes and damages resulting from drunken driving are examples. If it was supposed to come off, you can dispute it with the credit reporting agencies. Here s how:
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