how long does it take to improve your credit score

How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Credit Score?

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Maybe you’re on the verge of buying a house? Or perhaps you’re looking to buy a car? Whatever the case may be, you’re hoping to improve your credit score . . . and fast. 

What you’re wondering, though, is how long does it take to improve your credit score? Results can vary and are based on a number of factors. We’ll discuss the matter in more detail below. 

How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Credit Score? 

The time needed to improve a credit score is based heavily on its current standing. A credit score that was affected by bankruptcy, for instance, will take much longer to repair than will a credit score that was affected by a late mortgage payment. 

As such, you could get your score back to normal within 3 months. On the other hand, it could take as long as 10 years. Typically speaking, you should expect it to take between 6 months and 2 years. 

To better illustrate the recovery times, we’re going to focus in on specific scenarios. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy that doesn’t involve repayment. That’s the benefit of chapter 7. The disadvantage is that it affects your credit score for around 10 years, thus impairing your ability to borrow money for the foreseeable future. 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy does involve a repayment. As such, it doesn’t affect the credit score for quite as long. Generally speaking, it has an effect for 7 years.


Maybe you once got to the point that you couldn’t pay for your house, and had it foreclosed on you? If so, you can expect it to hurt your credit for the next 3 or so years. 

Defaulted Payment

If you default on a payment for a loan or a credit card, your credit score will be impacted by the default for approximately 18 months. That is unless you defaulted on a student loan, in which case the mark would stay on your credit record for 7 years. 

Late Mortgage Payment

A late mortgage payment will hurt your credit score as well, generally for a period of 9 months. Note, however, that if you pay within the grace period, you should be able to avoid the penalty. 

Maxing Out Your Credit Card

Going over a 30% credit utilization rate is one thing. Maxing out a credit card entirely is a whole other can of worms. This will have quite a negative impact on your credit score, and you will feel its effects for a length of around 3 months. 

Applying for a New Loan

When you apply for a new loan, you are subject to what is called a hard pull. This pull will have a negative effect on your credit score. In most cases, it will remain on your credit report for around 3 months. 

How to Increase Your Credit Score

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking for ways to increase your credit score. Some of the most effective methods include the following.  

Pay Off Debt

First and foremost, you have to pay off your debt. The lower your debt, the higher your credit score will be. This is particularly true when it comes to credit card debt. 

A respectable credit utilization ratio is around 30%. So, if you have $10,000 worth of credit available, you’ll want to get your credit usage down to $3,000 or less. If you can achieve this, your credit score will see a huge boost in a matter of weeks. 

Of course, you also need to chip away at other debts as well (ie. student loans, medical debt, car payments, etc.). Make sure that you’re not missing any deadlines, as a late payment can negatively impact your score for over a year. 

Keep Credit Cards Open

Let’s say you’ve paid off a credit card. Because you don’t want to risk charging more to it, you’ve decided to close it. What you might not realize, however, is that this can hurt your credit score. 

See, when you close a credit card, its credit allowance is no longer added to your credit usage denominator. So, if you had $5,000 worth of credit card charges on $10,000 worth of credit allowance, and you were to close a card with a $3,000 allowance, your credit usage ratio would be factored on $7,000 as opposed to $10,000.

In other words, by closing your card, you would be left with a 71% credit usage ratio as opposed to a 50% credit usage ratio. This would undoubtedly hurt your credit score. 

Your best bet is to pay cards off and then leave them open. You don’t need to keep them around physically; cut them in half if the temptation is too high. Just make sure that you don’t charge anything to them in the future. 

Utilize Credit Repair Services

Sure, you can pay off debts and leave open paid-off credit cards. But that’s not going to do anything to eliminate time-restricted penalties. 

There is something that might, however. That “something” is credit repair services. When you make use of credit repair services, an independent company takes measures to have penalties removed from your credit score. This enables you to increase your credit score much more quickly than you would be able to otherwise. 

Now, this isn’t to say that credit repair services work like magic. There’s no way to have all of your penalties removed. But there is a possibility that your score will be increased by 50 to 100 points and maybe even more. 

Searching for Credit Repair Services? 

Now that you have an answer to the question of “how long does it take to improve your credit score?”, you might be interested in utilizing credit repair services. If so, you’re in the right place. We here at Credit Savvi have you covered. 

Contact us now to get the process started! 

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