Will My Score Ever Go Up?

will my score ever go upAt myFICO.com we interact with thousands of people every month who have questions about credit scores, credit bureau reports, how lenders evaluate applications for credit, and lots more.

 

One question we hear often from people with challenging credit situations who score low in the 300-850 FICO score range is:

“…seriously, will my credit score ever increase?”

 

The answer is a resounding yes. But it requires that you set and stick to a focused plan of action to:

  • Pay your credit obligations on time
  • Reduce your debt exposure
  • Avoid seeking any new credit in the near term

 

Raising your score also requires patience- a virtue that unfortunately is rare in our fast-paced and instant-gratification world.

 

Are you still a doubter? Think I’m pulling your leg?

 

I have facts to back me up. We recently studied the FICO Scores of a random sample of U.S. consumers at two points in time separated by 12 months. We wanted to understand how their scores changed over that 12 month time period.  These people were selected at random, so they included some who monitor their credit score and many who don’t.

 

Here’s what we found:

  • FICO scores increased for almost 40% of the consumers in the lowest part of the range (300-499), pushing them up into higher ranges.
  • For consumers in the middle ranges (650-699 for example), close to 30% had their FICO score climb above 700 during that 12 month period.
  • Even people with really high scores (750-799 for example) saw their score improve:  20% moved up to the top 800-850 range.

 

By improving scores from the middle ranges to high ranges you can potentially gain real dollar saving benefits.  These include savings on interest rates, such as saving $2,000 on a 5 year/$20,000 new car loan, because lenders typically offer more attractive rates to applicants with higher scores.

 

At the end of the day, we each have the power to improve our credit standing and reap the financial benefits of having a high FICO score – even if you are now in the lowest score ranges.  The key is just like dieting to lose weight — remain focused and stay persistent because it may take time.

 

Tom Quinn is the Vice President of Business Development for myFICO, and has over 20 years of experience working with consumers, regulators and lenders and regarding credit related questions and initiatives.

About Tom Quinn

Tom Quinn is the Vice President of Business Development for myFICO and has over 20 years of experience working with consumers, regulators and lenders and regarding credit related questions and initiatives.

Comments

  1. Patricia K Correia says:

    I’ve been been patient.. I had great credit in 2006 when the government took my disability check and gave me a payee who refused to pay most of my bills, even the ones the letter I received required her to. I didn’t apply for new credit until 2011 when I finally got control of my own money again. I don’t know much about the FICO score, the banks and stores look at the scores provided by individual Reporting Agencies, not FICO Emergencies are not considered, 7 years of on time payments are not considered, unsolicited hard inquiries are not removed. late payments are not removed intead are listed as serious delinquency 7 years later. my score can jump up and down, mostly down, over 50 points in one month. Also I also always make more than the minimum payments, but it’s rarely reported. When will my score go up? I’m not sure will at this point. There’s always another excuse for reason for negative score but #1 stays the same.

  2. RedheadChicaCreditSc750 says:

    I UNDERSTAND Patricia.
    I have been there,felt like you at first, this year…

    But;

    I BEEN SEEING MINE GO UP NOW FOR MONTHS STRAIGHT,SEVERAL ONLY MARCH,NADA…(NOTHING)
    now just a week ago BAM! once again a huge nice increase! i mean big enough for me to smile. 11 pts. or 12 just las week on may 13 i am happy,i had such great credit during year of 2011,with a credit company help,who i am now again utilizing,so be patient,i hope your going to see improvement soon.but same as a diet,i agree it take alot of time,but i did get to 711 within 7 short months(Seem forever!)by the same company i am using again,so i pray i do it again, got 110 or so to go. bye now.good luck.Will definitely go up though,that is a given. just be patient.adios.

    good luck!
    .

    adios

    RedheadChica’sNewObjective=Perfect 2013 Credit,just like i had in 2011!)
    .
    Prior Score January 501-Equifax,TR.EXP.
    New Score!(February-Increase to 558!)
    New Score April 2013-569-578.
    May 13th,2013: 590 ! :heart:
    —————
    ” I am proud of such a big jump from only 500.almost at short term goal…
    Short Term Objective is: 620 for a loan to buy a nice home,mi dream casa!
    Long term Goal by “or”before December 2013:
    750-800 PERFECT SCORE

    (i raise it to 630,711,730)within just 7 months during all of 2011
    so i will do it again and this time for GOOD!
    “and i will get there in 2013.”
    _________________________

    • so what credit card company do you use so i can apply for this credit card myself. Thanks

    • Patricia K Correia says:

      Red Head Chica-you say be patient-how much patience? You only waited 7 months before you started seeing improvements but I’ve been waiting 7 years and if I see a slight inprovement one week, the my score drops 40 points the next week. My patience has worn thin. I even trid a Good Will letter last month only to get an advere reaction from the company.

  3. juanita harris says:

    we are having the same problem with this we pay on time now than clean up the bad things on the credit report and no score it just stay the same at all time i will get a high score but my husband want go someone please tell me y

  4. We had a company called ecredit advisors look at ours. They taught us the tricks of the trade. For example, have 2-3 credit cards active and keep a balance less than 10% at all times. They also worked to have negative items removed and after 3 months our scores increased 40-60 points and are still increasing. It does cost money but if you are trying to buy a house like we are, it’s worth it. They can break it up into monthly payments so it’s not too bad.

  5. mimismomRN says:

    I am frustrated and impatient. My scores were in the low 500′s in May. July 1, my score is still just 524. I don’t get it. I have paid my 4 credit cards off, paid one down to less than 30%, haven’t had any late payments since Sept 2012. I do have a 5 year bankruptcy and quite a few medical collections on my credit report. I have contacted the collection agencies to see if they will do a pay for delete, which they refused. I don’t know what else to do. Any advice.

    • Michael Cohen says:

      Trying to increase one’s FICO Score is an important step towards credit empowerment – but it takes dedication and patience when a consumer has experienced substantial negative credit behaviors in the past. When considering negative information, the score focuses on the frequency, recency and severity of the negative information. The frequency and severity are what they are – but the recency is a time based evaluation of potential risk. The more recent the late payment posting has the greater impact on your score. As time passes and no new late pay/derogatory items are posted, the points lost for recency of missed payments will gradually lessen.
      Hope this helps!

      • Patricia K Correia says:

        My score finally increased sometime in September when the reporting agencies decided the 7 year mark was up and removed my 2 late payment notations. These were neither frequent nor recent. One was 60 day. Points lost did not lessen with time as “late payments and derogatory remarks” was always the #1 reason for my neagtive score. My score increased 50 points when the lates were removed.

  6. I also am one of the frustrated people who sees the s-l-o-o-o-o-w rise of my credit score, paying bills on time month after month after month after month. However – a late payment on one of my accounts was reported, at which point my score immediately dropped 37 points. I spoke with the creditor who agreed to remove it, and that day, immediately, my score jumped back to its previous level.
    I am very curious as to why one path of sustained and consistent action brings such a slow improvement, while an isolated incident brings about a swift and punitive result.

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