NEW YORK (MainStreet) — California resident Jacob Gabrie was getting ready to buy a home when he realized that his credit score of 560 would severely hamper, if not destroy, his chances of getting a mortgage.
Intent on pursuing the purchase, he pulled his credit report from all three credit bureaus and quickly discovered some inaccuracies.
“There were many errors,” he recalls. “Addresses that did not belong to me, my name was misspelled, many accounts reported two and three times and also accounts that were [closed].“
Gabrie immediately contacted the bureaus to have all the errors fixed and, when the corrections had been made, his score was bumped up to 680. The new score was high enough to net a loan with reasonable interest rates.
Based on the fact that a record number of individuals are currently saddled with a subpar score below 600, Gabrie isn’t the only consumer in need of a boost. But is it really possible to quickly hike your score?
According to Tom Quinn, consumer credit expert for Credit.com, the current credit scoring model allows scores to change from day to day, since that is how often the three credit bureaus receive new information from those who report to them.
However, significant improvements in the score typically take some time, primarily because payment history comprises 30% of everyone’s total score and old delinquencies need time to age off your report. This means that a consumer’s long-term solution for increasing his or her credit score is fairly straightforward.
“You need to decrease your number of delinquencies, clear out your debt and get current on any outstanding balances,” Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com, says.