Financial Advice Q&A

Occasional Visitor
Posts: 1
Question
What can I do to see immediate progress in improving my credit score?
[ Edited ]

After graduating from College in May of 2013, I had about $3,000 dollars worth of loans. I paid those off within six months. I obtained a credit card, and after having quite a few background checks ( Internet provider, Apartment searching, Cable provider, Phone provider, etc.) couple with moving twice in the military, I noticed that my credit scores dropped below 700. What are some things I can do to see immediate progress in improving my credit score?

Other Answers: 1
Community Manager
Posts: 1,009

First, let me say that I LOVE the fact that as a recent college grad you are worried about your credit score and trying to find ways to improve it. You are very different than a whole bunch of people and I think that’s great!

 

Even so, this is really a “good news”, “bad news” situation. 


The Good News
The good news is that is sounds like you really are doing all the right things. Sure, you had a bunch of credit checks pulled as part of everyday living in America but there’s probably not much you could have done about that if you wanted to.  And, those inquiries probably won’t negatively impact your score for that long anyway. Honestly, it sounds like you’re doing great.

 

The Bad News
The bad news here (and it’s barely bad) is that “immediate progress” and “credit scores” typically don’t really go hand-in-hand…especially when you don’t have a lot of bad behaviors you could fix. This is because a big component of our credit scores is history. In other words, it’s not just doing the right things.  It’s doing the right things and doing them for a long time.  For you I’m afraid this means that improving your score is probably just about being patient and continuing to do the things you’ve been doing.

 

Credit Score Components:
If it helps at all, here are the main components of a credit score from our friends at FICO:

 

  • 35%    Payment history
  • 15%    Length of credit history
  • 30%    Amounts owed
  • 10%    New Credit
  • 10%    Types of credit used

As you can see, half of our score is tied in some way to history which is why “immediate” is hard to come by when discussing credit scores. For some tips on what to do and what to avoid going forward, I encourage you to check out this credit basics page on myfico.com. In the meantime, I say just keep doing what you’re doing!

 

Thanks so much for your question and best of luck to you!

 

Scott

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