It is always a matter of hard work when it comes to building a good credit score. For starters, discipline and patience are two of the most important virtues to have. Indeed, the credit building process cannot be completed in a day. However, there are multiple ways by which you can boost the overall speed of the process. Also, the vital thing in this period is to make sure that the credit score doesn’t slip in this time either.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to the credit world. Building credit is no joke if you start it from scratch or face severe issues such as bankruptcy. It will always take time to build the credit score from the very bottom itself. However, with proper steps, you can save a lot of time. This can be extremely effective when keeping your progress on track over the years.
Discover Credit Score
For starters, you can have questions such as how long does it take to build credit. You should be aware of what your credit score is in the present. Do not go by the actual words of media and TV analysts. In reality, no matter how bad your condition might be, your credit score can never be zero. If you have no idea about your credit score, it is probably because you never had any credit history. If you are a newcomer in this field, chances are your credit score is 300 approximately.
For absolute starters, the credit score is determined by a numerical value, also known as the credit range. The range is usually started from 300 to 850. As a result, not a single person will ever have a credit score of zero. Those who have just entered this and have no previous transactions mean you do not have any current score.
Now, many people will say whether having a credit score of 300 doesn’t matter or not. Honestly, it does matter. It is always good to know that you have something on your plate than nothing at all. Also, a 300 credit score means you can work your way up with time. It is always better than zero. It should also be kept in mind that the work is hard. However, it doesn’t matter if you are focused and patient enough.
Credit Score Ranges
The range of 300 to 850 is the general credit scorecard. However, this range has different segments, and each sub-range defines a specific type of credit score. Essentially, this will help the companies and merchants assess how good your credit score is at a particular time. The higher your credit score, the better your position will be considered. Given below are the sub credit score ranges and what do they imply.
- 300 to 599 – This is considered a very poor credit score. It is the worst credit score to have if you have a lot of transaction history. In such cases, it may be difficult for you to get a loan from anywhere. The loan amount will be reduced too. You will also be charged at a much higher interest for the loans that you will get than usual.
- 600 to 699 – This credit score is considered to be in the acceptable range. On a national average, this is the range in which most people have their credit score. Getting loans is still not very easy, though. However, small loans will get sanctioned nonetheless with an average credit score.
- 700 to 749 – This is the range that is considered to be a good credit score. If you are in this range, you will have almost no trouble getting the loans for any deals. However, the best interest rates on these loans may still not be available to you.
- 750 to 850 – If your credit score is above 750, you are in an excellent position in your credit score sheet. There will be no trouble getting the loans. Additionally, you will also be able to avail the best interest rates on these loans.
How Long Does It take to Build Credit?
So, how long does it take to build credit? As stated earlier, the process of building credit takes time and patience. It isn’t a short or straightforward process that can be achieved overnight. You will need a significant amount of dedication to improve your credit score. For improving your credit score above 750, it may take years of continuous persistence. However, it is essential to stick to it. The process itself is not very tough to follow. All you have to do is to maintain the right activities. If you can do that, your credit score will automatically improve over time.
One of the most critical factors that determine how good your credit score is history. The extended borrowing history will play a significant role in this regard. Not to demoralize anyone, but you may have to wait for a long time before you can see the results of your good habits. For a credit score to go from low to excellent, it may take seven years or so. The good thing is, it doesn’t matter if you are a starter or veteran. If you have a credit score below 400, you will probably need the same time. Hence, it is essential for beginners to stay motivated.
The histories that are related to credit transactions generally come with long term memories. If it so happens that you have missed any payment, the record will only demerit your credit score. What’s worse is that such documents will stay on your credit history for as long as seven years. Bankruptcy history is even worse, and such records will remain for ten years on your credit history. In such cases, people generally go for full credit recovery. Such processes are even lengthier and complicated.
However, you can be able to improve your credit score within a short time. In such scenarios, users who have no previous credit record have a better position than existing users with a low credit score. If you are a beginner and active on transactions, you can even improve your credit score quickly. The credit score can be improved enough within a period of two months to six months.
Building Excellent Credit – Why Does It Take Time?
Now, you know how long it does take to build credit. However, you would probably also think about why it takes time. It is like a general rule that time plays a significant factor when you start to build your credit score. Time is against in you this process. The companies that process or provide loans expect to see proper behaviour on your part. With time, this is hard to maintain. However, the better you maintain it, the higher your credit score will be.
Factors Affecting Credit Scores
Some of the factors that have a significant influence on your credit score are given below.
- Payment history – This consists of approximately 35 percent of your score. This generally evaluates whether or not you have been consistent with the on-time payments.
- Amounts owed – This consists of nearly 30 percent of your credit score. This evaluates your essential debt left at present and compares it to your present available credit.
- Length of credit history – This consists of around 15 percent of credit score. This takes into account the period in which your accounts have been active on transactions.
- New credit – Consisting of 10 percent of your score, this checks for new accounts. It will check whether or not you have opened multiple new credit accounts in a short period.
- Credit mx – This also consists of 10 percent of your credit score. The main criteria for evaluating this factor are whether or not you have any loan and credit management experience.
The better your positions concerning these factors will be, the higher will be your credit score. If you have on-time payment proofs and do not have hefty credit card balances, your score will be increased. From the perspective of the lenders, these factors will make you a trustworthy user. Since your behaviours are responsible, you will be rewarded with the benefits of having a good credit score. This, in turn, will help you to get the loans in a much easier manner. If you can keep up your records over time, the scores will be even higher. This is why your credit score cannot improve too much within a short time.
How to Build Good Credit?
Building a good credit score is pretty tricky. To create a credit history that will influence the score, you need a credit first. Much luckily, you are open to a few options that will help set up a good credit history and score. The steps are given below.
1. Create a Proper Credit Card Secured Account
With these accounts, you will be getting a secured credit card. The first step in building a good credit score is by opening such a statement. These secured cards are beneficial, especially when you have no history of credit transactions. For users who are looking to rebuild their credit as well, this is a significant step.
Usually, you are allowed to open a secured card when your eligibility for other cards decreases. Since these secured credit cards require a deposited amount, they can be given to anyone. The deposit is used as collateral if and when the users stop their payments. Since the risks are comparatively much less, even poor credit score users will be able to get it. The deposits in these secured credit cards are entirely refundable. If you can manage such secured cards properly for an extended period, you will be issued with an unsecured card.
As for the issuers of credit cards, the records, balances, and transaction history are updated every 30 days. Hence, if you can maintain your payments for such a short period, your credit score will improve. It will not skyrocket after a single month. However, if you can continue to manage your card for several months, your score will surely improve. Your credit score will rise every time you make on-time payments.
2. Use Someone Else’s Card To Become an Authorized User
This is one of the easy ways to improve your credit score. Suppose you are yet not eligible for the issue of a regular credit card. However, you choose to be the authorized user of another person’s card. Usually, this other person has to be someone who shares trust with you, like a family member.
If you turn to an authorized user, you will get access to their credit card and its usage facilities as well. In short, you will be able to use it like your own, but won’t be bearing any responsibility towards it. This way, you will be able to get credits sanctioned. The other user needs to have their credit scores high as well. Also, you have to make sure to complete the on-time payments. If someone entrusts you with their card, and you can maintain it wisely, your credit score will get boosted as well. This is an indirect way of improving your score.
As stated before, the user for whom you are an authorized user needs to have a good credit score beforehand. Else, there is no good in it for you.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that this process is only a temporary solution. This should only be used if you plan to kick start the growth of your credit score. Ultimately, you have to maintain your card to improve your credit score to the maximum. If you can use this option wisely as a stepping stone, you may get your next credit tool with much ease.
3. Apply For a Credit Builder Loan
Try getting a credit builder loan. In this process, your loan amount will be deposited in a separate savings account. You have to pay back that loan on time, with the required interest incurred in that period.
This is not like a traditional way of giving a loan. For instance, you are not getting the money altogether in your hands in that instant. This is like a reverse process. When you have finally paid the total amount of the credit builder loan, you will get back the full amount. Additionally, the interest generated on the period you took for paying that amount will also be returned to you. Since the amount is deposited in a savings account, the interest is usually less.
Nevertheless, this will help you improve your payment history. However, you should make sure that your payments will be reported to the credit bureau. Otherwise, it will not affect your credit score.
4. Try To Include Non-Credit Bill Payments in Your Credit History
It is not always essential that you have to include your credit payments to improve your credit score. You may be already paying other utility payments, EMIs, or rents. If your track record on these payments is right, you can use them to improve your credit score.
Usually, landlords never provide any payment reports of the tenants to any credit bureau. However, if your landlord does, or will do upon request, you can use these records to influence your credit score positively. Alternatively, there are external services such as PayYourRent or RentTrack. These services will help you report your rent payment to credit bureaus in exchange for a service fee.
Now, keep in mind that such records will always not help you to get loans. However, in cases of borderline decisions, having such records will help you a lot.
Apart from rent payments, bills for cell phones and electricity can also be considered in your credit reports. These usually are not active factors that can help you improve your credit score. However, on certain lending bureaus, even these factors can help you get small loans sanctioned.
Habits for Building Good Credit Scores
You must develop habits that will help you in building good credit scores. When your credit score is evaluated, many factors influence the score. However, the factors which should be emphasized the most are credit utilization and payment history.
As already stated above, payments history and amounts owed roughly influences 65 percent of your credit score. Credit utilization is also one of the critical factors that directly affect the credit score.
As the name suggests, payment history shows a record of your old bill payments. If you have paid past payments on time, your creditors will consider you trustworthy. Hence, it will be much easier to get loans approved. As for credit utilization, your available credit and the credit you are using are compared. As a thumb rule, it is always advised to keep your credit utilization ratio under 30 percent.
The other factors are important too. Ultimately, all these factors mentioned above directly influences your credit score. It is optimal when you can maintain them all for a prolonged period.
Habits to Avoid While Trying to build Good Credit Scores
There are habits that you should develop for building good credit scores. Similarly, there are habits that you should discard as well. If you do not discard these habits, your credit score may fall to poor very soon. Alternatively, your credit score may never rise with these habits.
The habits that you need to exclude while trying to improve your credit score includes-
- Missing out on payments and avoiding delinquencies – You should always make sure that you do not miss out on payments, no matter what.
- Making payments after the scheduled date – Payments should always be completed within time.
- Frequent application for new credits – Rather than new credit applications, pay off your current credit.
- Overusing your available credit and having a credit utilization ratio above 30 percent – For optimal credit score growth, keep the ratio less as possible.
- Keeping too much debt, as compared to your income – Your debt to income ratio is also considered. Having too much debt will negatively impact your credit score.
Good Credit Score – How To Maintain It?
Knowing how long does it take to build credit isn’t enough. You should know how to maintain credibility as well. By now, you probably understand that to raise your credit score. You need to influence your credit report positively. However, it is much easier and quicker for the credit score to go down than go up. Hence, you should always be as careful as possible.
To maintain a good credit score over a long period, you should follow these steps –
1. Charge Only Affordable Items
You should understand that just because you have a credit card doesn’t mean that you can spend it freely without thinking. It is advised that you only use the credits for items of which you are sure to pay. Rather than paying for large items, use your card for small purchases. If you use small credits and pay it back each month on time, your credit score will be maintained. Also, your credit utilization ratio will be maintained.
2. Start Paying More Than Minimum Due When You Carry a Balance
The best way to maintain your credit score is by maintaining your credit utilization ratio. If it remains low, while you use it each month and pay it back on time, your score will improve. The faster you pay your debt, the higher the interest money you will save on the process.
3. Start Paying Your Bills Within The Stipulated Time
Never forget that the payment history carries the most weight when it comes to influencing your credit score. Hence, late bill payments should be avoided at all costs. Save up money beforehand so that you don’t face any trouble paying your bills on time.
4. Avoid Applying For Multiple New Credit Cards
Every time you apply for a new credit card, the issuing bank will conduct a hard inquiry. This, in turn, will lower your credit score. Even though the effect is not permanent, you may face short time problems with getting loans approved. For beginners, this should be avoided at all costs. Moreover, too many hard inquiries will list you as a risky person to the money lenders. This impacts your credit score negatively as well.
5. Avoid Closing Card Accounts
Cards that you no longer use should not be closed unless the annual credit card fee is too much. Even if the card is not used now, your previous transactions will be considered for a prolonged period. In short, your credit history length will increase. Your credit score will be positively impacted for as long as the account remains open.
6. Regularly Check Your Credit Report
You must regularly monitor your credit report without fail. Usually, whatever credit bureau you may use, you will get a free copy of your annual credit report. Multiple services provide such reports for free as well. Check whether there are any inaccurate details in those reports. Many times people discover frauds and small mistakes that may lead to a disaster later. Better safe than sorry. So, do not hesitate to report such inaccuracies immediately.
How To Improve Credit Score?
The most important thing that has already been mentioned is timely payments. Nothing can beat the influence of paying the money within the stipulated time. If you can continue to pay all your bills and dues within time, your credit score will improve steadily over time. You may forget to pay on time or could not save enough within time. In such cases, change your lifestyle to make sure you can spend time. The credit bureaus will not listen to any excuses. The only thing that matters to them is whether or not you have paid your debts on time.
Another immediate response that you can try to improve your credit score is reducing the credit. The less credit you will use, the more of the available balance you will get. There are many effective ways to do this. For instance, you can try to pay down some debts. You can also agree to the increases in credit and keep the old accounts running. It is also vital to pay off the vast sums. When these balances are reduced, maintaining the credit utilization ratio below 30 percent will not be difficult—as per expert advice, keeping the credit utilization ratio below 7 percent can boost your credit score massively.
As for the other things to do and not to do, they have already been discussed. These include keeping the bills to a minimum, paying bills on time, not applying for new credits, etc. Overall, you need to be as patient as possible and let your prolonged efforts improve your credit history.
By now, you should know how long does it take to build credit. If you are looking to build a small amount of credit, even a few months can be enough. However, if you are looking to develop an excellent credit score, you will probably take years, maybe even decades. The trickiest part of this process is to maintain consistency. It is always advised to cultivate good habits. In this way, you will avoid getting discouraged over a long period. This will ensure that your credit history becomes as dependable as possible.
As stated before, to build an excellent credit score from nothing, you may need a decade or even more. You will be thoroughly tested with regards to your patience and persistence. However, if you are dedicated enough, you will be rewarded handsomely. Once you attain credit scores above 750, any loans you want will be approved. Not only that, but you will also enjoy the best rates of interest with the best possible terms. Doing so will undoubtedly help you a lot in the future.
1 Q: How long does it take to establish a credit history?
Ans: It can take a few months to a year to establish a credit history by opening a credit account, such as a credit card or a personal loan.
2 Q: How long should your credit history be before applying for a loan or credit card?
Ans: It’s recommended to have at least six months of credit history before applying for a loan or credit card.
3 Q: How important is payment history in building credit?
Ans: Payment history is the most crucial factor in building credit. Paying your bills on time is essential in establishing a positive payment history. Late payments can negatively impact your credit score.
4 Q: How can credit utilization affect my credit score?
Ans: Credit utilization, which is the amount of credit you’re using compared to your total credit limit, can affect your credit score. Keeping your credit utilization below 30% can help improve your credit score.
5 Q: How can having a diverse mix of credit accounts help build credit?
Ans: Having a diverse mix of credit accounts, such as credit cards, car loans, and mortgages, can help boost your credit score over time. It shows that you can handle different types of credit responsibly.