How Long Does It Take To Build Credit

Building good credit doesn’t happen overnight – it requires patience and discipline. Whether you’re building the score from scratch or after bankruptcy, there are a few things you should do to expedite the process. This brings us to the question, how long does it take to build credit? While no answer fits all, fixing your credit score can take as little as six months.


While your credit score can jump quickly, you can still go for months without much variability. If you have no credit history, it can take up to six months before FICO establishes the score for you.

If you have thin credit, it can take time for creditors to make their decisions with confidence. It’s worth mentioning that one missed payment can stay on your credit for years. And negative remarks like bankruptcy can take years to build, so the impact fades with time.

Since the payment history accounts for 35% of the FICO score, paying your bills on time is important. But how do you make timely payments? If automatic payments don’t work for you, you can write on the bathroom mirror or even schedule the date on your phone.

If you feel like you can miss a payment, tell the lender you’re willing to move the payment to a later date. Most lenders will give a grace period of up to 30 days. That being said, you should avoid late fees before it’s reported to the credit bureaus.

The time it takes to build your credit will depend on the accounts they open and how often they use the credit.

If you have poor credit of 500, the score can take 18 months to build. And once you achieve good credit, the score won’t rise steadily. If it hits the 800 tier, it means you have good habits in place. Of course, for the score to drop a tier, you should keep up the good habits.


It takes longer to build credit from scratch

Let’s face it: some negative items can take up to 7-10 years to build credit. If you went through foreclosure or bankruptcy, your financial behavior will play a key role. But once positive information is added to the credit report, it can overwrite the old information with time. If you take a loan, you should make timely payments and avoid maxing out the credit lines.

Credit utilization

Card issuers will require credit reports once a month, so you may want to keep the balance low before the next reporting date. This will help your credit score to bounce back accordingly.

Avoid debts

While having multiple credit cards can help you build credit faster, it’s not always the best answer. It can make things worse, especially if it’s a high-interest debt. If you fall behind on payments, you could make everything worse.

However, taking a loan and paying the balance each month can help you build credit pretty fast.

Do some housecleaning

If there are some missing accounts, this can drag your score down. You should start a disputed error to improve your score.


You should check your credit report from the local bureau. By law, you’re entitled to a free credit report. How about checking your credit card report from a reputable company?


To qualify for a mortgage, your credit score should be 600 or more. In addition to that, you must have a stable income ratio of 45% or less. While the threshold will vary, you may want to consult the lenders on the rate they offer when applying for a mortgage.

While your interest rate of 6% can be spread for 30 years, bad credit can cost you thousands of dollars. Sometimes, we are tempted to get credit now at a lower interest rate – it’s better to wait until you build your credit score. Depending on your financial situation, the process can take 6 months to a few years.


Keep the credit card balance low

Your credit utilization accounts account for more than 30% of your credit score. If your credit card limit is $2,000, but you have a balance of $1,500, then your utilization rate is 75%. If you have a low limit, make sure you borrow sparingly. Also, you should make your balance low by making multiple payments. How about asking your card issuer to give reports when you make payments before the date?

The fastest way to build the score is by lowering the credit utilization ratio. You could also ask for an increase in the credit limit. The key point to note here is that if you don’t accumulate more debt, your ratio won’t improve.

Always pay on time

The payment time is the influential factor on your score. That’s why you should make monthly payments on time. If there are late payments, you may get caught up. Perhaps the best approach is to set automatic payments to boost your credit score more than anything else.

Borrow responsibly

Every time you apply for credit, you knock down five points for the credit score. If you apply for multiple accounts, the compounding effect could have an impact on the credit score. Don’t forget to keep the applications to the minimum to ensure your credit is on track.

Apply the new rate sparingly

While it can be tempting to apply for a new score, you should ensure you don’t go too far. You can start with a few accounts and manage them before taking on more.

Be an authorized user of credit card

If you know someone with good credit, you can request the card issuer to add you as an authorized dealer. And you don’t need to reap the benefits.

Once you become a reputable dealer, you reduce the time it takes to boost the score.

Final thoughts

As long as your account is open, your score may not go over 800 no matter how careful you are. Keep in mind, building your credit score is a long-term goal. While it can take over six months to achieve a solid foundation, you need the right behavior to keep it there.

This is definitely worth the dedication – having excellent credit means you can get the best terms and rates on loans.