How Long Does it Take to Get a Credit Score?

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on April 26, 2022

A credit score is needed to obtain various benefits, such as loans. But in order to have high chances of obtaining a benefit, your credit score must be good.

It is very difficult to build a credit score, especially when you are doing it from scratch, and it can also be very challenging to maintain good financial behavior. But how long does it take to get a credit score? Let’s find out!

What Contributes to a Credit Score?

If you haven’t used any credit yet, you do not have a credit score. Therefore, if you are trying to obtain certain benefits where a good credit score is a selection criterion, you will have a harder time getting said benefit. It can take a while to build your score from scratch, so the sooner you start, the sooner you will have your rating.

It is important to understand what contributes to a credit score, or more specifically, how the score is calculated and used. This way, you will understand why it takes so long to obtain it, but also why the score may fluctuate based on your financial behavior and why it’s important to be responsible with your credit.

There are several credit scoring models, with VantageScore and FICO being the most popular ones. They give scores from 300 to 850, and a good score is above 670. Here are the general guidelines followed when FICO creates the credit scores:

  • 10% is calculated based on your latest borrowing inquiries
  • 10% is based on your credit mix
  • 15% is calculated based on your credit history length
  • 30% is based on your credit utilization
  • 35% is based on whether you made payments on time or not

Lenders will take a look at your credit score in order to determine whether lending you money would be a good idea or not. The scores can show the chances of someone falling at least 90 days behind on their payments.

That being said, it is essential to build credit for a longer period in order to prove how responsible you are with your payments, as lenders will want to see more than just a few weeks of timely payments.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Credit Score?

So, you’ve decided that it’s time to build your credit score – what now? It can be pretty challenging to start building a credit score from scratch, as you need to start using credit to do so. This means you will spend the next few months working on your credit rating.

It may take around six months to build a credit score, as you need credit activity for this period to be able to establish some credit history. This will help obtain a FICO credit score. You may also get a VantageScore credit rating generated, which takes less time to obtain than FICO, but FICO is the one you need to carefully monitor in the long term.

Even if you spend all this time working on your score, it is important to know that you will not get an excellent number from the get-go. It may take several years of good credit use to obtain a good or an excellent credit rating. Luckily, VantageScore can be very useful as it will tell you how your actions affect your new credit history.

Why Does It Take So Long to Build Good Credit?

You may be wondering why you need so much time to build a good credit rating. Well, there are a lot of things that have to be calculated, and they can only be estimated when you have credit activity.

To obtain a credit score, a few things have to be taken into consideration. For instance, your credit score will depend on your payments, how much debt you have, how long your accounts have been open, whether you opened multiple new credit accounts in a short amount of time and whether you have experience managing loans and credits.

Just because you have credit activity for a few weeks doesn’t mean an accurate credit score can be built. It takes a long time to learn your patterns and be able to rate things accordingly. Building good credit takes longer as you need to demonstrate responsible behavior for a longer time. 

4 Ways to Start Building a Good Credit Score

Are you eager to build a good credit score? Things may be a bit difficult in the beginning, but if you are dedicated enough and show responsible behavior, you will get there after a while. There are several things you can do to boost your credit score:

Open a Secured Credit Card Account

Secured cards are very advantageous because they are easier to obtain, especially when you are new to building credit. They are less risky for the lender – therefore, they will be more willing to grant you this type of credit card.

A secured credit card account is easier to open because you need to make a deposit to be eligible for it. The money you deposit will act as collateral for the lender in case you don’t make payments. The secured card deposits can be refunded too.

Credit card issuers will report your payment history and card balance to the credit bureaus once every 30 days. Therefore, if you make on-time payments and you are responsible, you have a high chance of improving your credit. Not to mention that you may even be upgraded to an unsecured card if you proved you can manage the card wisely.

Become an Authorized User

It may not be possible for you to obtain just any type of credit card, but you can become an authorized user on another person’s account instead. This can be your spouse or parent.

An authorized user can use the card like they are the main account holder while not having the same legal responsibility for it. The account’s credit history will show up on the credit report of the authorized user if the card issuer makes sure to report authorized user data to credit bureaus. This can help you improve your credit score.

Get a Credit-Builder Loan

Credit-builder loans allow you to build your credit by granting you a loan but not giving it to you right away. Instead, you repay the loan over time, as well as the interest, and once you’re done with the payments, you will get all the money you paid, and all the interest earned from your savings account. You should make sure that the lender reports payments to the credit bureau before you apply for this loan, though.

Use Non-Credit Bill Payments Toward Your Credit History

Check whether your landlord reports rent payments to a credit bureau. If they don’t, then you may want to look into credit reporting services like PayYourRent and RentTrack. Reporting your utility payments is also a great way to build credit, so you should consider it.

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Final Thoughts

Building a good credit score can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. With enough patience and hard work, you should be able to obtain the results you desire. We hope the tips in this article will help you in this regard.


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