How to Improve Your Credit Score in 5 Simple Steps

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Credit Improvement in 5 Steps

If someone offered you free coupons for all the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life, saving you loads of cash, would you take it? Of course you would. Why then, do so many Americans neglect their credit score?

Having a good credit score is like having the world’s best coupon book for all of life’s major financial transactions. Not only will it open doors for you to qualify for things like home loans, auto loans, private student loans and credit cards, but the better your credit score is, the better the “deal” you’ll get – and that all translates to money in your pocket.

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

For example, let’s say you buy a $250,000 home. With 20 percent down, you’ll need a home loan for $200,000. Check out the difference in interest rate and payment with a mere 44 point difference in credit scores:

Borrower #1
Credit score: 722
Mortgage interest rate: 4.990%
Monthly mortgage payment: $1,072

Borrower #2
Credit score: 678
Mortgage interest rate: 5.375%
Monthly mortgage payment: $1,119

In 360 months – the length of a typical home loan – the better credit score in the above scenario saved the first borrower $16,920!

Clearly, it pays to have a good credit score. Here’s how to improve your credit score so you can access the best deals on life’s largest purchases:

1. Pay all of your bills on time every month.

If your credit score is under 700, chances are you’ve missed a payment in the past. Missing monthly payments is one of the worst things you can do to your credit score. That’s because payment history, or how reliably you’ve paid your bills on time in the past, makes up roughly a third of your credit score – more than any other factor. If you work on only one thing to improve your credit, this would be it.

2. Use a small percentage of your available credit.

The second largest piece of your credit score is “credit utilization,” or the percentage of credit you use (balances) compared to the amount of credit that’s available to you (limits). If your credit utilization rises above 50 percent, your credit score will suffer, according to Ed Deshields, President of CE Analytics – the company that created the CE Credit Score. So keep balances low and avoid accumulating charges on credit cards with low credit limits.

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

3. Dispute inaccuracies on your credit report.

Nearly 80 percent of credit reports contain an error, according to a survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups – and errors can take a toll on your credit score. That’s why it’s important to check your credit report regularly and dispute any inaccurate information that you may find. You can get a free copy of your credit report and score, plus the ability to dispute errors online, at

4. Avoid applying for numerous new credit lines in a short period of time.

Another part of your credit score is new credit, which includes the amount of new credit inquiries on your credit report, which occur any time you apply for credit. While there are built-in protections to limit the number of inquiries to your credit report when shopping for a home loan or auto loan, that’s not true of credit cards. Each time you apply for a new credit card, your credit score will take a hit – about three to five points. Avoid chipping away at your credit score by limiting how many credit cards you apply for in a short period of time.

5. Don’t close credit card accounts you don’t use.

When you close a credit card account, you’re decreasing the amount of credit that’s available to you (credit limits), which impacts your credit utilization. Remember – credit utilization is how much credit you use compared to how much credit is available to you. If you continue to use roughly the same amount of credit, but have lessened the amount of credit available to you, your credit utilization will go up and your credit score will go down. Instead of closing credit cards, put them to good use and charge small purchases on them to keep them active.

Note: If your credit card carries a fee, you may want to weigh the hit to your credit score by closing the account against the cost of keeping it open. The short-term impact on your credit score may not be worth the price tag that the card carries.

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

When it comes to improving your credit score, there are no fast fixes. Real credit improvement takes time, patience and consistent smart use of credit. So stick with it, pay your bills on time and be responsible. With time, your credit score will rise and you’ll begin to enjoy the benefits of good credit.

For more tips and tools to help you manage your home, money and credit – including the most affordable credit monitoring on the web and complete identity theft protection – visit

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  • bob gainey

    If I get a secured credit card,and keep the balance low will it help me raise my score? Can you recommend a secured card.

  • Ann-Marie Murphy

    Hi Bob! Yes, using a secured card, keeping balances low and making timely payments will help raise your credit score. For different secured credit card options, check out Bankrate: Pay special attention to fees and make sure the creditor will report your activity to all three credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion and Equifax). Good luck!

  • BungalowMo

    Bob…another excellent option is to see if you qualify to join a local (or Nationwide) Credit Union. They have much more appealing products and are likely to transfer that secured card to a non secured one after a shorter amount of time.

    They have better rates and are more forgiving with credit & loans (home & auto) with their members than the big banks. With CU’s you are a member…with a bank you are a customer…big difference!

    I recently joined Navy Federal & I’m waiting for some inquiries to drop before apping for their card.

    Credit Unions get a big thumbs up in my book!

  • m l allen

    nice job on credit score you rock

  • murphy2009

    These free credit scores are nice but it is confusing why I would be at only a B grade considering:

    We own our house, no mortgage
    We pay off all credit every month, no debt
    At most our debt to available credit is at 5% ratio

    When checking why, it says, it is lower because we do not have a mortgage.

    What a deal, huh!

    Nothing we can do to raise it, but than again, see no reason why we will ever need a loan at this point.

  • amenius

    I have good credit for the past 4 years. It is the years prior to that which I have bad credit. I went through a divorce and then I went on disabillity and didn’t have the money to pay the bills. So I had to let them go. The good credit is not evenn looked at when I am applying for loans. They are looking at the bad credit of over 6 years ago. What do I do about that?

  • Denise

    Had a bankruptcy in 2008 how can I improve my score of 601?

  • Kaleshia Porter

    If you have bad debt from the past, then go back and see if you can begin to pay the things off. If you choose not to pay the items you will have about 7 years to wait before the items roll off your file. The items can still be collected on by the company that you owe. It will improve your score though if you pay the items. They will not be removed but they will show paid/after charge off. Ecventually after several months that will no longer affect your score. However, if you never pay they items they will always work against you..

    To Denise:
    Bankruptcy takes time to improve on your score. Perhaps getting new credit will help some. You could also consider paying some of the things off that were not paid. 7 to 11 years for Bankruptcy to roll off your file. Pay all your bills on time and try to get credit counseling to ensure that you don’t end up with the same problems again. I hope this helps.

  • Anna Papdauria

    I have 2 DISCOVER credit cards, with approximately $1,950, and 3,200 charged on them.
    I have had these cards since 1986. Just recently, in the past 1-2 years , I’ve charged things to them.
    I’ve paid these bills in a timely fashion. Last month I was told, my credit limit will be cut from 12,000 on both cards down to 2,100 and 3,400. Now it looks like I’ve maxed out my card. When a credit card is maxed out, doesn’t it reflect negatively on your credit report giving you a lower score?

  • Brittney H

    My credit score is a 572. What kind of credit card could I get to improve my credit?

  • Bob S.

    My credit score has dropped 61 points in the last month!!! What happened? I didn’t miss any payments, paid off my credit cards in full, etc. Nothing has changed, so why would my score drop so much and so rapidly?

  • Ang

    I have a low credit score. Probably around 550 or lower. I had about $15,000 in credit card debt by the time I was 20 years old. I am 22 now and do not have any car loans or other debt. I realize what a mistake I made, but I am unable to make more than the minimum payments. This is keeping me from reducing my debt to income and credit utilization ratios. How can I decrease my credit card debt while drastically improving my credit score?

  • Jay B

    Apply for a secured card and build your score that way. If I were you I would apply for only 2 of them. Time will heal all credit scores..

  • Jay B

    Bob S.,
    You paid your cards off “in full”, keep about a 30% use on them.

  • Cliff H

    I was delinquent on an account do to a prolonged period of unemployment (I just started a great new job Thank God) and agreed to a settlement. This is the only account I’ve ever been delinquent on. I paid it off on 7/30. I applied fort a mortgage and during the process my credit scores were pulled and I found that 2 of the three scores were now below 600 (668 e 568 and 583). The settlement has been paid off but has not appeared on the credit report. During the whole process the bank showed me in delinquency despite the fact that i was paying off the settlement. Question once this appears will the score go up? Also I’m considering paying off the remainder now despite the settlement since I now have full time career employment. They tell me once this is done they will forward “account closed paid in full” to the credit bureaus within 10 business days. The mortgage broker agreed to to a Rapid rescore once this item is done. My understanding that this can raise the score dramatically.. will it raise the 2 scores to the 640-50 range? I can then go forward with the loan.

  • ray williams

    I have been retired 11yrs at age 52 own 2homes 2 boats and have bought 13 new trucks and never missed a payment. I have never missed a payment of any kind and have a good income with no credit cards ever and my score is in the 600s what gives?

  • Doc

    I pay my mortgage on time each month, and most if not all of my utilities are paid in full each month. I just got approved for a credit card that is not secured, but I have enormous medical bills and I’m disabled so there is no money to pay them each month. What can I do. No one will give me a loan because my credit score is so low. I can’t even refinance my home for a better APR. I feel like I’m sinking in quick sand.

  • Josh L

    My credit score recently jumped from 721 to 768 which is great in my book. I am not sure why but I suspect something negative from the past finally was removed from my credit card. I only have 1 credit card with a decent limit and I pay off the entire balance every month. I want to pick up the American express/Costco credit card but now I am afraid it will lower my credit score. Any idea how much? Should I avoid picking up the card entirely? Or will the increase in my credit to debt ration actually increase my score?

  • Amanda

    We have a few late payments from Sept 2009- Feb 2010… however, we have caught up and are paying all bills on time. My credit score dropped considerably due to these late payments… now that hey are caught up, when and how will I see my score rise?? How much does it affect the score if I pay off a card?

  • Ramona

    Iwould like to know if there are home loans for the disable my credit score is 550 and going I’m trying to clear my credit as we speak and I would love to have my own home one day.

  • peggy

    I have good credit but have a high debit to income ratio I want to refinance my home and pay alot off is there a mtg co that will consider me for a refinance.

    thank you

  • Maliena

    Me and my husband are planing on get a home loan,but the problem is our credit score is too low,what is the fastes way to improve our credit?and some says pay your bills on time.what kind of bills we talking about?

  • Mary Kate

    Response to Ray Williams: Ray, I would love to have your problem! Based on what you said, the only conclusions I can come to are these: (1) There is something inaccurate in your credit report (Check all three.) or (2) The fact that you have never had a credit card is affecting your score, although I am surprised at how much. Variety of credit is part of the computation of a credit score. If I were you, I would apply for at least an American Express and a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Card. I have American Express and two Visas. Based on your income and lack of debt, I would think they would all jump at a chance to have you as a customer. Then just be sure you charge a few things every month. You should have a decent credit limit on all of them. If you think it is too low, ask for an increase or find out why the limit is so low. P.S. I don’t think you could rent a car without a credit card; most hotels are fond of them also–credit cards and luggage. LOL

  • Harold Kelley

    We paid our house off if May, 2 years early. Will this raise my credit score?

  • viaberry

    I had a pretty descent credit score before I was introduced to ( at the age 18) what I considered free money (credit card). I have been battling this credit issue for awhile now and it has been a very difficult battle. But I dont think I make enough money to actually pay off my debt what do i do now?

  • JJ

    We have quite a few credit cards but only use 3 of them, each of which are paid in full every month. Most of them were opened in order to save a % off from first purchases we made such as carpet, furniture, etc. We can’t possibly use all of these and haven’t used some for years. In fact, some have been cancelled due to lack of use. Our credit score is 759, which kind of disappoints me because I assumed it would be even higher. The only debt we have is for a 4-year interest free loan for merchandise we purchased, which must be paid off within the 4 years or it will accrue interest. Only about 15 months left to go and that will be paid–at any rate, it’s only $60 a month. We own our own house, vehicles, travel trailer, and horse trailer. In the next few years, we may be selling our house and looking to buy a newer one, so we want the best credit score we can possibly have. Can our credit score be improved, or is this the best it will get? Do I cancel some of the credit cards? (My daughter says no.) What say you?

  • Andrew

    The last one here is one I have struggled with and have always been confused by. But what I’ve figured out is what you said…keep credit cards open so you technically have more credit available. It’s a really weird concept that you’re better off owning 100 credit cards than 1 as long as you’re not in debt, but I suppose it makes some sense. It becomes even harder when you need to weigh the annual fee for closing the account and I’m just not sure how much it hurts your credit to close a card. Tough to tell.



  • Sharon

    I have read that having your credit utilization below 50% of available is beneficial to credit score. Does that mean 50% of each individual credit line, or 50% of all lines bundled together?

  • Julie

    I had number of old debts so I went through Consumer Credit Counseling and received
    notice from CCC when each bill was paid off. My credit report shows these still in
    collection rather than paid off. How can I get these shown as paid rather than in
    collection? CCC tells me creditor was to submit info to credit bureau’s but they have
    not done this.

  • Nanie F.

    My credit score is 550 because I have been unemployed for two years. Since I have a monthly income now I want to know if I pay off my bills within the next 6 months will that improve my score so I can be qualified for a mortgage next year.

  • ricky a. will not be getting that mortgage loan…takes 7 yrs for non payment to be removed from credit.i heard due to housing crisis you are not getting a mortgage loan unless you have a score of 720 or higher.your score may slowly go up up up over time..lotsa time:

  • ricky a.

    julie…you need to dispute any inaccuracies with credit bureau.they will contact the creditor to determine the accuracy..can take 30 days

  • ricky a.

    sharon…i would suggest you not go over 30 percent on each line of credit

  • ricky a.

    andrew..just cut up the credit card..eventually the credit card company will close the account for inactivity,by all means close a few credit cards that have annual fee if you dont use them..i dont think it will affect your credit much if you do it little by little.

  • ricky a.

    jj…you credit score will improve as long as you quit applying for more than 4 applications in a 2 yr period or your score will be dinged.

  • ricky a.

    viaberry…call the credit card companies and make payment arrangements with them.



  • Davette

    I am trying to buy my first house. I am only 23 and i have never had a credit card and i have some stuff on my credit report that are not even mine. what do i do ? I also have a credit score of 575 will this score affect me from not being able to buy a house ? and how do i bring my score up?

  • Tracee

    I am trying to buy my first house also within the next year or two. My credit score is 571. I have messed up my credit in the past in college, and right now I am 4,000 away from paying off everything. I pay the collectors every month on a payment plan. Should they be reporting the to the credit bureau? I have finally was approved for two credit cards. I know the difference between secure and unsecured CC, But which one is the best to pick? I currently rent, and my bills are all in my name, ex electric, cable, water, etc. But i do not see these bills on my credit report. How do I keep raising my credit score in a kinda fast way so I can be able to buy a house within a year or two? I have a very good paying job and have been on time paying my bills for at least 5 years. What do I do? HELP. Thanks

  • Renee

    I have a son, who is 18 and employed part-time, but makes decent money. How can he begin to establish credit in his name? He currently pays the car payment for the car he drives but the loan for the car is in my name. (it was purchased before he was employed). He tried to apply for credit at Best Buy and Dell. But of course he got turned down because he has no credit history. Where should he begin?

  • Ann-Marie

    Hi Renee – You came to the right place! We have a couple of articles here at the Quizzle Wire that address this very issue. Check them out:

    How to Build Credit from Scratch:

    3 Ways to Rebuild Your Credit after Bankruptcy: (Don’t be scared off by the bankruptcy focus here. Rebuilding credit and building credit from scratch have a lot in common.)

    Good luck!

  • George R

    My credit score is somewhere around 600 mark, depending on which report I get. I now have a secured loan from my local bank, auto loan, cap one unsecured card with 500 limit, secured cap one card with 1500 limit, orchard bank unsecured card with 320 limit. I have less than 500 balance on all cards combined. When will I start to see a difference in my credit score? Oh, my home is paid for, so no need for a mortgage.

  • ricky a.

    colleen the important thing is the creditor has noted the account as being settled

  • ricky a.

    davette you need to dispute any inaccuracies with the credit bureaus.the credit bureau has 30 days to do an investigation and correct the mistakes.once the mistakes are removed it should bring up your credit depends on what the mistakes are as to how much your score will rise…you cannot buy a house on a score of 575

  • ricky a.

    tracee sometimes its better to try dealing with the creditor rather than a collection agency.a collection agency gets a percentage of the money that you give to them to go toward your debt with a creditor.its worth a phone call.

  • ricky a.

    renee try adding your son to the car loan.premiere and orchard generally offer credit cards with low limits to people with little or no credit.

  • ricky a.

    george something on your credit report is the negative items on your report become older,your score will start to your score increases you can apply for better credit cards with lower interest.keep your balance below 30 percent of your credit card limit.nobody wants to hear this,but its just a slow process to improve your crdit scores..negative things stick around for 7 yrs before they disappear on your crdit report.your score will slowly rise as the negative items get older and you continue to pay on time with current credit.

  • Valeria Easley

    We know that our credit scores are beat up BAD. We had to file bankruptcy May, 2007 due to medical bills and waiting 2 years to be awarded my disability. We have 5 credit cards–90% of the time they have been paid on time. But others should know that most cards will delete the late payment at least once or twice a year as long as you call them ASAP and explain the correct reason for you being late. The new credit card laws are nice to give us the 21 day notice now, but I have noticed that no matter when I mail in my payment, the credit card will hold it until the day it is due & then credit your account–wonder how much extra interest they earn by holding you payment for 2-3 weeks?? We realize the only thing to help our score is to be on time with present payments and ride out the 7/10 years it takes for the bankruptcy to fall off. Do you have any other ideas that may help us increase our scores?? Also, I think it is unfair for these commercials to advertise “check your score” when every time you check it, it lowers your score by 3-7 points. Is the best plan to just personally order 1 or 2 copies per year from the “3 big” to check your scores and to check for correctness and make sure the paid off accounts aren’t hurting you too hard?? Also, is it possible to contact the “big 3″ and explain that the house payment is often late because it is paid out of my disability check and my check comes on the 3rd Wed. of each month-dates range from the 15th to the 21st-(& our house note is late on the 16th)-I have NO control on the date, only the 3rd Wed.-do you think they would take in account that the house note is not late by my choice, it is late by the Federal Government’s choice? Also is it possible to call Chase and see if they would change our due date to later in the month??–we will have an extra check this month so we can get the house note paid in the first 2 weeks and if the short payroll checks from my husband during the holidays doesn’t “hurt” us, we may be able to keep it in the first 2 weeks. But again, would Chase change a due date to later in a month?? thanks for listening-enjoyed you site-will visit again–had oral surgery today and the pain pills are calling me to bed. thanks again. Valeria Easley

  • Wendy

    Good information I have 2 questions
    1)we mucked about w/attorney who didn’t know bankruptcy – and filed Chap 12 (agriculture) in 2001 – wasn’t available that year so we switched to chapter 11 (not right) then did chap 7. Accepted Oct 2003. My problem is how do I get Chap 12 and 11 off my record since they didn’t “make” Is it 7 or 10 years before Chap 7 will come off my credit report?
    2) Got a divorce from the lifestyle and person creating financial issues and have good payment history, high ratio of debt because of home mortgage, credit card for me in my employer name for travel(doesn’t get reported tho). Running with score of early 700′s. Have a debit card w/my credit union. Would like to get credit card (w/rewards if possible). Don’t want to apply to a bunch and get hits on my report. Is my only option the secured cred card? best options?

  • disabled1

    I am disabled and got way behind on most of my bills while waiting for my disability checks to start. I now get ss disability and am working on catching up on my bills. My credit score was hit hard during this time and I think is is wrong that someone in my situation is punished for a disability I have no control of. I wanted to refinance my home to lower my payment but can’t due to my score. This is wrong.

    • Donna Smith

      I wholeheartedly agree!
      After working hard building and maintain a 30+ year “excellent” credit rating — “stellar” a mortgage broker once called it. Now 50, I can’t get an ATM or debit card or even the lowliest of 29% APR SECURED BY DEPOSIT credit-cards. A consequence of being foolish enough to buy a house as my daughter entered college and I had begun carrying higher-than-usual balances on a couple of “prime plus 1″ credit cards issued by Bank of America.
      I protested; in person, in writing and by phone, to no avail. They refused to work with me. I managed to keep current for several years until my savings ran out. The bottom fell out for my small business sales, my fiance’ got cancer and while undergoing a grueling6 month protocol of chemo and radiation treatments, Wells Fargo bought out Wachovia and auctioned off his $300K house for the 50K owed but temp. deferred by local Wachovia branch pending the sale of a separate property that was in-progress but delayed a bit. Sans any notice whatsoever, etc. etc.

      In spite of being a 20 year customer and regardlessthat I had neither missed a payment nor been late, four months after closing, the 9% APR on both cards was suddenly, and without warning, doubled by BOA. A short time later, they increased again to a whopping 23%. Apparently a “periodic re-assesment” reflected a change in “debt-to-income ratio” that once recorded, rendered my 30 years worth of A+ credit-worthiness null and void in a matter of days.

    • Tim

      I am in the same boat and I agree with you!

  • kara

    About a year ago my credit score was in the 560s. I messed up a lot in college. Lived off credit cards and I have a judgment on my report that probably wont come off until 2016 even though it has been satisfied. All of my bad debt has been paid off and I am current on two student loans. Each month I pay my loans I am noticing a slow rise in my score. I am up to a 605. Once I hit the 620 mark I will apply for a credit card to help raise my score even more. I could potentially hit a 645 in the next year if I improve the same amount as this past year. It is a slow process. Unfortunately my husband is in a dire situation with his credit and is waiting for some items to drop off so he can build it up again. If my name was the only one on the loan I would like to get a home loan by the time I am 30. I am 26 now. Hopefully I can prevent our kids from making the same mistakes we have.

    • Ryan

      You should look into getting a secured card until you are able to qualify for an unsecured. I have an Orchard Bank secured card (One of the best ive been told) and it has been helping out a great deal. Good Luck!

      • Bobby

        Orchard Bank is the best at gouging the hell out of you with fees. Go with Capital one instead.

  • Mary

    In November 2006, my husband got behind on the mortgage. I made a HUGE mistake and allowed him to refinance the home using my credit and his income. He has not made a mortgage payment in over a year becoming $60,000 in arrears. I have contacted Hope for Homeowners and am trying to get a loan modification. However, I will still not be able to afford the mortgage because I am on disability. What can I do to help my credit from being destroyed any further and if I can’t afford the mortgage on my own, what should I do. My attorney told me to file for spousal support and I plan to do that but what else should I be doing. Thanks.

  • http://google Sandy T.

    In November 2006 I settled with all of my creditors but did not receive settlement letters from them. Last month two of my creditor’s are trying to collect on the debt again and I only have the electronic payment to prove I made a payment – what can I do to not have to settled with cc a second time?


    • http://QUIZZLE.COM johanna HOLLAND

      If you can prove that you settled your accounts, via money orders or electronic proof/ statement. That company have violated your consumer rights, and you will need to find an comsumer attorney online, providing your proof to the attorney- you supposed to get $1000.00 from that company plus each call afterward for those settled debts $1000.00 each, and a lot of the attorneys get their money from that company not from you. After the attorney get your proof and you sign a document from them, they will start to work on your behalf, also you will have to send a dispute letter to each credit agency, tell them you settled for less amount balance$0. Or you can dispute online with the three credit agencies Trans Union, Experian Equifax,one campany that does this illegal act is Cavalry Portfolio Svc, they are known for doing this.

  • Nicole Jaackman

    im 21 years old married with 2 kids and want to buy a house but i messed up as soon as i turned 18 and got a credit card that got closed because i got so far behind on payments and i dont know what i should do. i plan on paying them off with taxes but dont know how long or how to go about getting a better score can someone please help me?

    • Christine

      I did the same thing. Got a credit card at 18 and messed up BIG and now at 21, I regret it! I paid off the cards and it is listed as paid, but it took about 1 year for my score to begin to rise.

      I had a 485 credit score at the time I paid off the debt. Now, a year later, I am at 630. Not fantastic but much better.

      Continue to pay your bills on time. Once you pay off your credit card, wait a few months and then apply for a new one. I got mine, ironically, with the same company I had been written off by (Capital One). At this point, use the card. Do not put anymore than 20% of your credit limit on that card at any given time (unless dire emergencies) for credit’s sake. I normally purchase a tank of gas, and then turn around and pay it off when the bill comes in. If you don’t let a balance roll over, you won’t pay any interest! How cool is that? It’s pretty much like cash!

      If you are serious about wanting to buy a house RIGHT NOW, I would suggest going to a mortgage company and seeing if you pre-qualify for anything. But I would suggest paying off your charge off first, waiting a few months, and then giving them a call.

      Unfortunately, there is no “quick fix” for credit scores. It’s like you have to regain trust. It seems like you learned from your mistakes. Good luck in the future!

    • AL D.

      You may have to pay a high interest rate on a home loan if you can get one but after about a year, your credit score will be much higher. This is assuming you do not add to credit cards or fail to make payments. I purchased a home a number of years ago and had to pay 8+% when loans were going for 6%. I paid off my credit cards and got my credit score in line and refinanced a year later for well under 6%. My credit score increased over 100 points to the 720 range in just one year.

  • John I

    I’m confused pay all my bills on time-home loan-cc-just paid off my car, have a loan out with prosper for 2,500 (I took out in March of 2010) I have not been late with a payment for the past 3 years on any account & my credit score has dropped from a 700 to 685 how does that happen confused in Texas.

    • Kat

      Check to see if your credit lines decreased. When the economy tanked and credit tightened, one measure most card companies took was to decrease folks’ limits on credit cards. If this happened to you, it would have dropped your score because you are now using a higher precentage of your credit than you were before.

      I have heard, but do not know how much this impacts your score, that where you get your credit matters too. Credit from non-traditional sources like pay-day loans and p2p sites like prosper are perceived somewhat as desperation loans and have a similar impact as applying for several credit cards at once. Such acts that could come out of desperation make a person high risk and therefore lower credit rating.

      • AL D.

        My mother had a card with a $2500 credit limit that dropped to $300. Lucky for her she did not have a balance. Had she had a balance on the account, she could have gone over her credit limit therefore lowering her credit score. My mother always pays her accounts in full each month and hasn’t carried a balance for over 30 years. I don’t know what the credit limit drop did to her credit score but I’m sure things like that hurt other people.

    • Pampa


      I experienced the same issue a couple of years ago. The loan officer told me I was not using my credit. I thought she was a fool. I had 24 active accounts and a long history of paying on time. She later explained because I was not making new charges on my credit cards they could not determine any new updated payment history. Keep paying down your debt. Make a single charge small charge (I charged $200.00) for something that you routinely purchase and pay it off over a 4 to 5 month period. Silly I know. Untill the credit agencies stop playing games you have to earn to play by the rules given.
      Good luck!

  • Ann-Marie at Quizzle

    Hi John! Credit scores are finicky animals – and not always logical. It’s tough to say exactly what is bringing your score down, as your entire credit profile needs to be taken into consideration. However, it’s possible that you pulled your credit report at a time when your balances are higher (even if you pay your balances in full each month), which could take a toll on your score.

    If you’re not planning on applying for credit anytime soon, I wouldn’t sweat it. Credit scores fluctuate and as long as you’re paying your bills on time and managing your money wisely, your score will fare well. Also, make sure when you’re comparing credit scores that you are comparing the *same* type of score. There are various scores available to consumers and they all use slightly different formulas. Use the credit trending tool inside of Quizzle to best track your score’s progress over time. Good luck!

  • Alisa Kurtz

    Dealing with my credit report was part was my identity was stolen and nothing done about it and have been trying to get the items removed and dealing with college, they refused to help me catch up after I went into major surgery during the school year(2005). And part of it was a place which refused to expect that I am disabled have been since I was a child and was demanding more then my income allowed and only had enough for my phone and rent at the time they refused my disability. Someone who is disabled and discriminated should not be treated this way.

  • Betty LaVerne

    What seems to be missing here, is the fact that the credit reports are full of errors, 80% of the reports have errors! So, when youy check yours, get out your pen and paper, or keyboard,LOL, and write to the three bureaus, tellling them they have errors on your reports and you want them fixed. Send any documentation you have , proving you paid such and such bill, and then send them another letter, a week later, if they fail to respond to you. It is your money, and they actually take more from you if you fail to get things fixed!
    Great article, BTW!TX

  • gloria cooper

    im seperated and have done paid off a home loan with my also drawing credit score is poor but im wanting to buy a home for my kids and i to have a fresh start.WHY are loans so hard to get when there are so many Forclosed homes out there. I feel like i have stable income and have paid my bills ontime for the last several years and should be given a decent chance to buy a place to call home for me and my kids !

  • http://Rchris7171@yahoo.con rchris

    The beginning of my history with bad credit started when I signed up for credit cards in College. I have been paying for it ever since. I have also had two home foreclosure on my credit as well. When I recently relocated to Texas and rented a home for my family and myself the real-estate company handling the property made me pay 3X the amount for move in which was $4,350. Normally I would have said forget that but was not in a position to do so since I had been turned down for several other homes and had a deadline for getting my family relocated. My family and I lived there for three years my wife and I were never late on not one payment. When we moved out we only received a $150 check which we still to this day have not cashed. Although I don’t really blam the real-estate company because the owner of the house should have put that money in an escrow account for when we moved out. I owner of the house was having financial problems himself. We would get his forclosure notices in the mail about the very home we had to pay so much to live in. So yes you really get screwed when your credit isn’t up to par.

  • Steven steffey

    Can I get a mortgage when my bankruptcy was discharged 6
    Months ago my credit score is 590?

    • JAY

      You need to wait 3 yrs to get mortgage and your score should be 640. Also, make sure you don’t get any latest, collections or judgements. If you have no credit you will need to atleast get a secure card.

    • AL D.

      Ask your bank – the worse thing they can do is say no. I’ve know others who have gotten a loan in less than 3 years but you will pay a higher interest rate. If you get a loan and pay on time, you can always refinance in a year or so.

      • Kelly

        Based on this information, if my credit score is 594 (as of 12/23/11) and bankrupcy from 9 years ago recently dropped off my credit report and I have been making more than the minimum amounts on my secured credit cards, are you able to estimate how long it may take until I am able to bring my score to about 620 to qualify for a mortgage?

  • Lysa

    I have a score of 593 but I want to know about how long it will take for me to raise score enough to qualify for a mortgage? I have good income & no loans, or debt besides daily expenses. I have a secured card I have been using & paying off for the last year. I do have one item in collections for 5,600 (voluntary repo from mother)and I am going to contact them to start paying that as well. What else can I do & how long will it take because I am so sick of renting.

  • Janice B

    I have 2 separate credit scores-617 and 592. I also have incorrect information on my credit report. I am disputing the incorrect information but, it will not let me dispute all of it. I went through a very nasty and bitter divorce which caused my credit to drop way below 700, but, my credit reports list my ex-husband and his girlfriends address as my own. I am unable to remove their address and I don’t understand why. Is there something or someone that can help me with this hugh problem?

    • Kristi

      I would contact the credit bureaus directly and send proof of your residence. My husbands ex-wife was still listed on several of his accounts until I proved that they were divorced and she was remarried.

    • Kat

      Verify that no accounts you currently are responsible for still have your husband’s name on them. If they do, you cannot get rid of his address until you get him formally removed from those accounts.

  • Chantel

    credit is ridiculous! At a time when more people than ever have poor credit and foreclosed homes, you would think someone would come up with a different structure and criteria for credit! I have been a renter all my life, and pay double what my friends who are homeowners pay. I have never been late/missed a rent payment, basic utility payment, or cell phone payment. I’ve cleared up most of my past debt and have an unsecured credit card I pay more than the minimum balance on each month. The bank ‘pre approved’ me for a $200K mortgage because my debt:income is beautiful….. Yet, when they pulled my credit report and saw a 499 I was turned away!
    If I owned a home, I’d pay LESS in living expenses each month, and could in turn pay MORE on collections accounts! (I have 4, totalling $6000, but none will set up payment plans less than $300/month which is not doable).

    • Kat

      Consider getting a consultation with a debt consolidation company. There are a couple of different kinds out there. Some buy up all your debt at a bargain rate (convincing the companies to write off the difference as a bad debt) and then you make a single payment to them which would be within your ability to pay (or otherwise you wouldn’t do it). Some negotiate with your debt owners to reduce the debt or set up a monthly plan. Yes, you could (and seem to have tried) to do this on your own, but a debt consolidation company may have more success than you.

      Also – if you own a car or some other asset, consider looking into a small bank loan to pay off some of your collections. You may get a better interest rate, get rid of some of the harassing collections notices, and a in-good-standing bank loan looks a hell of a lot better on your credit.

    • AL D.

      Try a different bank. Because of all the foreclosures and people with poor credit, mortgage loan companies are making loans harder to get. Rules have changed but they do not help those who have poor credit scores. Also remember that pre-approved only means that you would qualify for that amount if you credit score was high.

      • Chantel

        Me again.. score is at 549 now, so up 50 points since April, it is now December. Not one missed/late payment all year, and beefing up savings in preparation to make a big payment to settle on this outstanding debt. Goal is to get to 620 by next summer.. is that possible if all of my collections are in paid status? It is medical I am paying and 1 medical loan through a bank and 1 credit card through a bank… All will be paid in full by March 1 2012.. I figure, that gives 3 mo to report to agencies, etc. by June 1, 2012 and by August I want to work on qualifying for a mortgage.. home prices are unbelievable where I live – gorgeous 4 and 5 bedroom/3 bath homes for under $100K on the space coast, Fl ! Anyway, my credit cards are at about 40% right now balance, but by Feb/March they will be at 20% and I am paying the 2 oldest off in full and working on the 2 newest (which i just got this year when my credit started going up).

  • otis

    I plan on paying off two negative accounts within the next month, totalling roughly $1,100. That would place all my Negative Accounts in paid status.

    I have 3 other credit accounts I plan to pay off in full within the next 6 months, along with about $45,000 in student loan debt.

    My question is this: with the 3 credit accounts (all at very low interest rates), would it be wiser to pay them in full (Option 1), or pay maybe 60-75% off of the balances, resume monthly payments from that point, and put the rest of the money towards a few of my student loans (Option 2).

    I read that it is better on your report to have a smaller balance that is less than 50% of the limit and chip away at it, than to pay them off in full.

    I know the information isn’t specific enough to give a clear answer, but given the info I did provide, which option should I choose?

    • Kat

      It is best to pay off the highest interest debt first.

      If your credit cards are higher interest rates (which nearly all would be higher than most student loan rates), pay them first regardless.

      If your credit card rates are lower than a student loan rate, then get your credit cards at or below 50% and then pay more towards your highest interest debt.

      Student loans don’t really count against your credit period as long as you make your payments on time so as far as your credit rating is concerned, don’t worry about trying to pay them down faster.

    • Rick

      While paying off higher interest rated items would save you more money in the long run, your credit score doesn’t give a hoot what your interest rates are. It looks at your debt to credit ratio and if you have paid on time or not.

      Student loans don’t impact your credit rating UNLESS you have made late payments.

      So, to answer your question. “Option 2″ is the right way to go. Try to pay them down to 20% of your credit limits or less if you can, then pay on time, even if you pay extra, until they are all gone.

      Then go out and charge small things once in a while that you can pay before you get hit with interest rates to show that you continue to pay on time. Long term “Paid off, pays on time” items on your report is what you want.

  • X Dickerson

    It’s unfortunate that many of us were NOT taught the importance of credit during our younger years. I don’t agree with the credit rating & criteria, after debt is satisfied, it still takes 7-10 years to drop off your report. I don’t believe on average that folks just neglect to pay their bills, but it is very discouraging when you try hard to fix your credit, but it still effects you for a long time, and you are unable to move forward with home ownership. Also, it is ridiculous that so many people lost their homes without any help from mortgage lenders, of course its better to keep home owners in their homes rather than foreclosures and homes sitting for years without occupany, no body wins, So what is the logic behind it? Consumer’s always the one who suffer to most.

  • http://Quizzle Kay

    After some huge business losses and income loss, my credit has gone from mid 700′s to 536 in 18 months. I have made arrangements with the credit cards and paying on them monthly. What can I do now to improve my score until we sell our house and can pay them off in full? I have no late mortgage or automobile payments….Just credit cards.

    • Kat

      Just pay them on time and more than the minimum (even if its just $1). It will not have a huge impact to spread your payments evenly, so if you have extra cash to put toward the debt, just focus on the highest interest rate debt.

  • Elena Murka

    The first step is knowing whats on your report, by simply knowing you can get your report free is a barrier for many, especially in places like California, large populations don’t speak English (and Spanish was spoken here LONG before English). The gov mandated free annual credit report system is exclusively in English. How can this be fair for many Native Californians who only speak Spanish?

    • Chantel

      ..Because English is our national language….. doesn’t matter what was spoken years ago, this is how it is.

  • Frank

    Dear Sirs:

    Some years ago, my wife at the time put me on her Capital One credit card account, we have been divorced for more than five years now; but, for some reason she still has me as a user on this credit card. We have absolutely no communication with each other for more than 5 years now, so I wrote her a letter and explained to her the situation, that even though she never makes a late payment her balance is $5,800.00 on a $6,000.00 line of credit. It is my understanding this is pulling my credit score down by 14 points.

    I called Capital One and asked my name be removed but was told since it was her card she is the only one who can remove me.

    Do you have any suggestions as to what I might be able to do to remove myself from her credit card?



    • Kat

      You may make more headway with CapitalOne if you send them evidence of the divorce – and preferably documentation that the credit card was recorded as belonging to her during the settlement.

      THe quickest way is to get your ex-wife to have you formally removed.

  • http://yahoo diana

    how could i raised my credit score , the 1st time i filed bankrupt because someone use my information to get things in my name there nother i could do. the 2nd time i file because of illness cause me the miss work mostly every week cause me getting behind on all my bill, now this time i decided not to listen and when i file they take out of my check every week until i finished paying and this also due to illness[ heart problem ] i still having a little problem because all these years they just decided to find the problem , so what could i do to try or the best way so i could make an arrangement to pay these creditor

  • Keith

    The current job on my credit report says “Refused”. Actually I am retired & on Social Security. Would it be better to dispute this and get them to change it to “Retired” or would being retired on a fixed income hurt my credit more?

  • Mary

    Does reconciling credit cards affect your credit score?

    • Kat

      What do you mean by reconciling?

      Reconciling usually means comparing one record (like your bill) to another record (like your own receipts).

      If you mean negotiating a lower payment or balance as in “settling” – then yes. But mostly because that always results in closing the account which lowers your available credit, and therefore, increases your debt:credit ratio.

      If you are talking about accessing your credit card charges online or asking for a copy of a bill to be sent to you, then no. You accessing your own existing credit information never impacts your credit score.

  • Jay Jay

    Last year my score was 500 plus & this year went up to 600 plus but how? I didn’t do anything, just living from pay check to pay check & pay everything cash because I never used any credit card in years probably 7 yrs may be, due to the fact that I have owe so much money from the credit cart after the divorced & living off my credit card & not be able to make any payment 2 yrs later. How many years actually it’s going to take to clear all those credit that I didn’t pay. I heard some people said 8 yrs, is that true??

  • Donna M

    Here is a funny story, my x-spouse’s wife had a credit card with JC Penney and defaulted on it and it ended up being reported on my credit report……………I pointed this out to JC Penney and the credit bureaus and it took months to clear it up. The funny thing is she is much older than I am and when the card was originally opened I would have been 12 years oldI

    I even asked the credit department at JC Penney how could you have issued me a card in that particular year when I was 12 and had no job are you stupid or what? They could not answer me nor could the credit agencies. I said think about it here is my social security number and birthdate are you that stupid to issue a credit card to a 12 year old?

    • Chantel

      i was listed on my mom’s jcp card as it opening in 1990.. I was 6 in 1990. However, i was added as a joint card holder when I was 17, and it goes back to when SHE opeened the card. I know your situation is different because this is probbaly someone with whom you would never share credit with but just saying it is possible for a situation where you have a credit record going back that young.. ;)

  • Pam

    Thanks for putting together this helpful and informative article. One suggestion for someone stuck paying a large annual fee for a credit card they don’t plan on using anymore is to ask the company that holds it to change it to a different type of card without an annual fee. That way the cardholder wouldn’t affect their credit score because they would still have the same amount of credit available to them. Please correct me if I’m wrong though as I am only speculating here.

  • Jac22vw

    I have never had not 1 credit card. From the age of 19-23, I had school loans that were never in default.. I’m not sure what my credit score was, it was always just ok. I worked hard to pay bills ontime each month, I was young and dumb, so some sMall bills like utilities and cell were late and or not paid.. My first car loan I paid off $15,000 in total, then got a lease. I got into a car accident in 2008, was in a coma for 3 days, resulting in TBI… traumatic brain injury.. I have not And will never be the same… My car was totaled, and did not have car insurance.. I am just now getting on my feet. My credit is horrible. there are so many things that are wrong like my car being repo… And 3 straight payments after accident listed as late.. Most of my credit listings are medical bills from up to ten plus years ago.. I also owe past bank $300… I am so young and don’t want to b on disability, I have a lot of pride in myself and push myself…. I don’t even know where to start as far as fixing my credit… I was advised not to enter a credit repair/ or debt consolidation because I have no credit cards, no mortgage etc. Is there any advise out there on a first step to take?? Thank you for your time:)

    • heartagold02

      Jac22vw, I too came from a beautiful credit history that was destroyed when I had an accident, coma, tbi back in 2002. My fiance left me, and I was released to work without restrictions a year after my accident. I could not do the same work, so did whatever I could to work, including housekeeping, caregiver, typist, and though I was exhausted, proud and very confused about my body not acting normal, my memory, and my judgement, I just kept going. I had to. Needless to say I lost just about everything. I went through more heartbreak than I can even tell you. Now, ten years later, I have healed much more than I ever expected. I am an excellent worker, though I am still different than before. I can be over-sensitive and easily over-stimulated and frustrated. I just take a breath and keep going. I have had far too many jobs in the past ten years, having been fired from a few for having difficulty being there on-time. I was too proud to ask my doc for some kind of help, a letter or something to give me some accomodations. Anyway, my last job lasted almost two years and I worked my butt off. I had to help a relative who had broken his back and not able to get on SSI for over four years! I paid all debts and my credit was on it’s way up! Then I got fired. That was a year ago. I can only say keep determined, keep your focus and never give up. You are obviously bright, coming here for more information and caring enough to repair it. From one tbi survivor to another, I send you encouragement and hugs. Things are not the same any more, and 10x more difficult for someone with tbi! So regardless of how it seems, you are stronger than the average person out there. Most people could not handle what you have been through. Stay strong!

  • Charles Conroy

    I need help with everything.

  • Beth

    My husband passed away unexpectedly in 2005. After his death, I discovered I was added to a Line of credit and the Deed for our home was only in his name. He purchased the house before we were married but we did refinance and this was never brought to our attention. So in turn, what I thought was my home was not. Everything went into probate and the estate would not sign the deed over to me. I continued to pay the mortgage because my name was on the mortgage and I had good credit (789) and wanted to keep it that way. My attorney advised me to stop paying because the estate was never going to put my name on the deed. So after almost 2 years I gave up the fight and walked away. The house went into foreclosure through no fault of mine and and credit score dropped to 550.

    Fast forward to 2011, I now am trying to refinance my current home and I have these 2 negative accounts that are still haunting me. My score is now 695. The bank is questioning the Line of credit which my husband used for his business. I never used it and didn’t even know I was on it until he died. Please tell me how to get this removed? This was not something I had any control over… long does one have to be punished?

  • Fabster

    They forgot to add #6: Don’t co-sign for anyone.
    If you co-sign for any type of loan for a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, family member, etc., you are listed as the Co-Borrower. You are signing a contract that says that you are just as responsible for the loan as the Borrower. That means that if the Borrower stops making payments, you (Co-Borrower) have to make the payments. Any missed or late payments will automatically reflect on both borrowers’ credit score.

    I’ll use myself as an example:
    A few years ago, my then-boyfriend bought a used car, but his credit was so bad that I co-signed for the auto loan. Since we were living together at the time, I was making the payments for a year-and-a-half while he took care of other bills. When we eventually parted ways, he moved to a different state and took the car with him. I didn’t object because the car had mounting mechanical problems. Although he had taken over the car payments, on numerous occasions he’s been late. I know this because, as the co-borrower, I have access to the account. Technically, I could make or add payments to the principal of the loan to pay it off more quickly. However, if I can’t drive the car, I’m not making any more payments unless my ex-boyfriend dies before the car is paid off. Fortunately, he has less than a year left to pay off the loan.

    • Fabster

      I forgot to add the following to my first comment:
      The car loan, for which I co-signed, is the largest debt I currently have. I believe that once this is paid off, my credit will look much better.

      I recently settled on an account with a collections agency. A month after I paid them off, my credit went from 599 to 670.

  • http://quizzlewire mike mclaughlin

    I have an ok score of 666, according to quizzle. Im rebuilding my credit, have not been late on anything for over 5 yrs now. I do have a charge off(car) that still on my credit report due to seperation(i cosigned for my fiancee at the time) and when we seperated she let the car go which has impacted my credit. Its due to fall off next year. My question is I have a credit card with a 13.99 percent interest rate currently. Its been open now for over 2years, and they recently just started charging me an annual fee of 40.00. Do I apply for another card like chase that has a zero percent for 6 months and 0 balance transfer fee and transfer the balance? Im concerned about the hit on my credit report especially if im trying to buy a house.

  • Angie

    I’m a 21 year old college student and I checked my credit score sometime last year and it was 687. However, I just got a new credit card and its almost maxed out just because I needed it for school related things. I plan on paying it off within 30 days and I also plan on keeping a lower balance in the future but will my credit score be affected by the balance that I have on the credit card? If so, by how much?

  • http://quizzle Jerry

    I have been married for over a year now. My wife didn’t really have any credit and I had issues in the past. Since we’ve been married we have bought a car and we both have secured credit cards. Her score is now 650 and mine is around 600. I haven’t tried as of yet, but am I wasiting my time trying to get a mortgage at this point. Thanks

    • Kelly

      I’m not an expert, but I’ve had recent experience in this area. My husband and I have been married for almost a year and recently have tried to get a loan with both our names on it. His credit score is about 720 & mine is 600. When I spoke with a local lender, I was told that he could get a loan on his credit alone, but in order for me to be considered and added to the loan, my score had to be a minimum of 620 for an FHA loan. He (the lender) said you won’t even be looked at if your score is less than that. Take your wife’s annual salary and multiply by 3. If the home you want is within that price range and you are comfortable with just having her name on the loan, then you could get a loan on her credit alone. But if you want to include your income and name on the loan, your score needs to be a minimum of 620. This was my understanding of it.

  • Kelly

    I know that being divorced affects your credit (which really is not fair) but exactly how much? I have been divorced twice. I finally found the one who I think is right and have since remarried. How much does marriage affect your credit? We will be married a year next month. Also I have a tax lien listed on my credit report from when I was married to my second husband. I recently contacted the Attorney General’s office in my state and found that the lien has been paid off for almost 10 years now and I requested a release of lien paper from them. When I am finally able to file this with my local court and have it removed from my credit report, how much will this affect my score? My husband and I are desperate to get out of our 2 bedroom apartment where we live with our 3 sons (ages 11, 12 & 15) and our 2 cats and into a house but my score is not great.



  • http://Quizzle MortgageMAD

    Went through divorce in 2006, filed bankruptcy together yet sold our home then and kept it out of bankruptcy. Showed all the way to the end and filing of bankruptcy on credit report, once it was filed it dropped off my credit report. As if I had never owned a home, let alone made mortgage payments for 1st and 2nd for the past 7 years…What and whom do you contact when the bank you had the motgages with doesn’t exist anymore (WAMU)??? If that were correctly posted on my credit report would it have a major impact on my credit score? I would think so please any advice or experience with this let me know, thanks :-)

  • PJ

    I took my Mother in to live with my husband and I when my brothers stole over a million dollars from my parents put them in a nursing home to die. Dad died there and Mother begged me to get her out, so we did. My husband was on dialysis and she needed dialysis also, and she was paralized on one side from a stroke. I needed to buy a lot of extras to take care of her, so I refinanced. Two years later had to refinance again, due to high medial for her to avoid foreclosure. Mtg. co tried to charge over $20,000 to re-finance, so we said “NO” and cancelled before it was funded. Mtg. co. said pay or we will foreclose. They committed fraud. We paid 12 months under protest as the payments were more than all 3 of us could afford. Then Mother died. Less than a year later my husband died. Now I am down to only my Income and they want to foreclose on my home and leave me homeless. I had credit score of 780 up now it is barely 400. Everyone wrote off what I owed before I could do anything. The Judge would not allow me to defend, he said the “BANKS Have to be paid” I cancelled the mortgage, had to pay, and they will throw my dead body out of my home, because I will not leave alive.

  • dee

    bankruptcy 3 yrs ago and now soon foreclosure on my own because my husband wouldn’t work and I am on disability and can not pay it all. we r divorcing and he took me for support. What nerve. How long till I can buy another house

  • Veronica

    I would like to apply for a car loan. My credit scores are 684, 663, and 643. I am applying to join a credit union, in hopes they will approve me for a second cc since they are not as strict. If I pay off one negative account on my credit my score will go from 663 to 683. Do you think I would qualify for a car loan? I would like to get one through the credit union because they have lower interest rates. Any advice? Also I have paid my current cc on time for 10 months. Thanks.

  • Dan

    My current credit score is 612, my wife and I just paid off all of our outstanding debt and have over 20,000 in the bank. We are both veterans and would like to buy a house. We also have between us actual cash amount monthly 6000 dollars. How soon would we be able to apply for a mortgage, I have read that we would need a credit score of 620.

  • Peter

    We had to short-sale our home last year. Previous to the short-sale we had a credit score of 760. Ten months later we have a score of 645. How hard will it be for us to get a decent mortgage loan/interest rate? Typically how long does it take to recover from a short-sale knock to your credit score?

    • Quizzle

      Hi Peter- There are different types of short sales and also depending on your personal finance situation, your score will be impacted differently than other people may be impacted.
      I would suggest talking to a mortgage banker about your specific situation to see what your best options would be and what you qualify for. You can call 1-800-QUIZZLE, option 3, to get in touch with a Quicken Loans Home Loan Expert.
      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Albert einstien

    Immense information there.

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  • Jamie

    my Husband and I recently filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, it has not been discharged yet. I pulled my credit report just to see what it looked like, I noticed that most of the things had a note referring to the bankruptcy. my question is, I have accounts on there that are old, not 7 years yet but old that are “negative” and are closed or charged off prior to filing. Can I dispute it to have it removed once the bankruptcy is discharged, or will I still have to wait the 7 years to ask for it to be removed?