How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Your Credit?
All it takes is one payment incident or late credit card payment for your credit rating to plummet. But—on the other hand—how long does it take to rebuild your credit? Strictly speaking, there isn’t just one right answer, because it depends on your score and the strategy implemented to increase your score.
Give yourself every chance to rebuild your credit quickly
When you have a low credit rating due to past mistakes or a complicated financial situation, it’s important to work on rebuilding your score. This definitely takes some time, but by following these instructions, you’ll regain maximum points as quickly as possible:
- Pay your bills on time, whatever the amount, because any late payment affects your credit rating in the same way, whether the unpaid amount concerns a debt of $20 or $5,000. Ideally, it’s preferable to pay more, but you should in all cases at least pay the minimum amount due on your credit card or line of credit.
- Check your score once a year to know where you are, and check your report to detect the presence of any inconsistencies or errors and have them corrected.
- Use your credit card up to one third of the limit. Using the card up to its maximum amount has a negative impact on your rating, because financial institutions interpret this method of use as poor management.
- Limit loan applications. Even if you don’t follow up on them, the act of filing multiple loan applications has an impact on your rating. That’s why it’s preferable to shop around, make your selection, and only then authorize the banking institution to check your credit report.
- Apply for a secured credit card, use it up to one third of the limit, and regain points.
How long do different incidents remain in the credit report?
The following information concerning overdue accounts remains in consumers’ credit reports for 3 years:
- Consumer proposal
- Debt management program
- Loan applications (information kept by Equifax)
Other negative information may even remain in the report for 6 years. This includes:
- Insufficient funds
- Credit cards, lines of credit, and loans
- Secured loan supported by a property
- Loan application (information kept by TransUnion)
- Legal decision
The timelines for rebuilding your credit
Although the negative effects will only disappear after 6 years have passed, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to speed up the repair of your credit rating.
After 12 months, a consumer who has shown rigorous management will already regain some of their lost points—certainly not enough to reach 900 points, but maybe already enough to mark a progression that will help them get closer to the fateful 650 points, which generally allow them to take out conventional loans, although not always at the best rates.
In the case of a bankruptcy, it takes several years without incident to regain a respectable credit rating and be able to interest the banks again.
The time required to rebuild your credit varies from one person to the next. It all depends on the initial rating, as well as the actions taken to regain points and the seriousness of the consumer.