Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

How long does it take to repair a credit score?
How long does it take to repair a credit score?
Gerri Detweiler:
expert info »
It depends on why the credit score is low and the steps that need to be taken to rebuild it. I have seen consumers improve their scores by as much as 100 points or more in a year by proactively working on their credit. And that doesn't mean you have to hire a credit repair firm. But be prepared to invest time and energy in building strong credit. It can pay off!
Jody Rorick, CPA:
expert info »
A very long time, several years, in fact, but it definitely can be done.
Bettye J. Banks:
expert info »
My favorite answer to almost any question remains "It depends." Your credit score is a moving target and changes with your behavior. You can make a significant improvement to your score by paying down debt to 50% or less of your available credit. The effect is almost immediate. This is fast and efficient, but presupposes that you have no other negative issues to deal with. If you have a series of slow/late pays, charge offs, or worse, the time [needed] to rebuild credit changes significantly. The worse the credit report, the longer it takes to rebuild, sometimes years.
Rebecca Schreiber CFP:
expert info »
Unfortunately it takes much longer to repair a credit score than to damage it. Luckily, lenders are more interested in what is happening in your life now than several years ago, so the most current information has more clout (except for a bankruptcy, which stays front and center in
your credit report for 7 years). Start up good habits like paying your bills a few days early, tracking your expenses and writing down your goals.

If you have been the victim of identity theft, suffered a major illness, injury or were unemployed, you can tell your story through your credit report. In every credit report you have the opportunity to submit your own side of the story to explain why the numbers look the way they do. Contact each credit bureau on how to submit your statement so that lenders get a better sense of who you are and not just your score. Best wishes.