Experts and experienced non-experts agreed that a credit score begins to increase within 90 days after the latest late payment posted on the score card. To increase one’s credit score, one must have some outstanding credit balances, no late payments in the last ninety days, and paying existing bills, credit cards, utilities, and book clubs, whatever well on time. People experience a time lag of up to 15 business days from the day a bill is snail mailed to the date that the payment is posted. The minimum that one can expect is about 10 business days. Those companies receiving payments and who contribute to the credit score card process can take up to sixty days to report its payment dates, late or on-time, on the debtor.
Paying off an account that portrayed many late payments does not by itself halt a decreasing credit score. Late payments in any other listed accounts will be detrimental to one’s overall score. As stated before, the overall cessation of late payments begins the healing process. Continuous on-time payments and only one or two new credit accounts a year will begin to show an increase. It is the debtor’s discipline and payment habits that make the biggest difference.
Getting a credit card if the debtor does not have one, and using it prudently, very lightly, and by paying on time helps the credit score. If it is difficult getting a card, get a card with a low credit line and even prepaid. It has been noted that having a credit card whose balance is paid off every month on-time adds to the credit score a bit more quickly. This is because the credit amount carried over to the following month is below ten percent, a rather magic credit amount line in the credit score keepers’ minds. Also, have a credit card that reports to all three major credit reporting bureaus. This keeps scores from one bureau to the next closely in line. It all helps. A point made by some people was to not have a credit balance over forty to fifty percent. This is a balance that put score keepers on the fence. An improvement would be to have one or two other credit cards where the total balance might be the same, but what is carried on each card is less than 30 percent. Less than 30 percent is not as magical as ten percent or less, but is much better than over 30 percent or higher.
Another situation that was noted by experts and experienced people is that an installment loan, as for a car, mortgage, student loan, or even a personal loan, along with some credit card usage and timely payments, increases the credit score a bit more quickly than not having one.
Another idea people stated was if a late payment situation occurs, and it is posted onto a credit score report, ask the lender to erase it if it is the first in a long time or the first ever. Nothing tried, nothing gained.