Improving your credit score

A: There are no specific rules governing either how long it takes for your credit score to increase or how many points it can go up during any set period. Depending on how you handle debt -- from your mortgage payments to your credit card bills -- your score can actually change from month to month. Most people, however, won’t see their score go up more than about 30 points during any three-month period.

If you have a low score, you can work to improve it by paying all your bills on time and paying down the balance on your credit cards. That means paying not just the required minimum amount listed on your statement but gradually paying off the entire outstanding balance.

Keep in mind, though, that certain things may impact your credit record longer than others. For example, filing for bankruptcy will continue to tarnish your credit score for seven to 10 years. Defaulting on a loan will drag your score down for seven years from the date you made your last payment on that account.

And remember, while paying off your credit cards and loans is good for your score, closing your accounts altogether is not. A good credit history is one that includes one or two loan accounts that have been opened and used responsibly for a long time.

If you’re working to improve your credit score, LendingTree can help you monitor your progress. 

Dan Moore
Vice President, Product Management 

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