How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Score?

Having a good credit score is very important in the United States because everything from financing a car to taking out a loan to buy a home depends on having a good credit score. So, whether you have just turned 18 and you’re just starting off to build your credit or you’re older but have never applied for any type of credit, how long does it take for you to get a credit score? We will discuss the answer to this question in much detail below.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Score?

According to Experian, it takes three to six months for a person starting from scratch to get a credit score. So, if you have just turned 18 or you’re applying for credit for the first time, it should take you three to six months to get a credit score. This is so because prior to applying for credit, your credit report is empty, meaning there is no information based on which to calculate a credit score.

However, after you open a credit card or take out a loan, your credit report will be populated with information from which the credit reporting bureaus can calculate and give you a credit score.

Your credit score will then depend on your payment history, credit utilization, and account age. Typically, for those starting off, just a few months of opening a credit card, using it, and paying it off is sufficient to establish a good credit score in the 700s range.

How to Build a Good Credit Score?

There are a number of ways that you can build good credit and achieve a good credit score. Here are some actions that you can take if you’re just starting off:

Open a Credit Card

If you’re just starting off and you don’t have credit history, you can build a good credit score fairly quickly. One of the best ways to begin building your credit is to apply for regular unsecured credit card. If you’re approved, you will begin building your credit immediately.

That said, if your application for a regular unsecured credit card is not approved, you can ask the bank if they will offer you a secured card instead. A secured card is very similar to a regular credit card and will help you build credit history. The only difference is that you’ll have to pay a security deposit to the bank. The security deposit becomes your credit limit.

For example, if you pay a $1000 security deposit, the bank will give you a credit card with a $1000 credit limit. Usually, if you make all your payments on time, the bank will refund your security deposit within 12 to 18 months, and your account will be switched to a regular unsecured credit card.

Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, so opening a secured or unsecured credit card is a great way to build credit. This is so because the credit card issuer will report the status of your account to the credit reporting bureaus on a monthly basis, building good credit history so long as you borrow and repay on time.

Also, if you choose to open a credit card, you should try to keep your credit utilization below 30%, meaning you should not keep a credit card balance above 30%. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1000 credit limit, you should not leave a balance above $300. Keeping low credit utilization will help your credit score immensely.

Take Out a Loan

After opening a credit card and building good history, it’s time to take things to the next step. If you need a car and you can afford one, think about taking out a loan to buy an affordable car. Car loans fall under the category of installment loans, adding an installment loan to your credit report will improve your credit score so long as you make all of your payments on time.

Adding an installment loan will create a better credit mix for your credit report, which will improve your credit score as the credit reporting bureaus reward those with diverse types of accounts.

That said, make sure to make all your payments on time because missing a single payment could have a devastating impact on your credit score. So, make sure that you only borrow as much as you can afford to pay off at the end of month to boost your credit score as much as possible.

Become an Authorized User

If you have a parent, close relative, or spouse who is willing to add you as an authorized user, you could boost your credit score very quickly, especially if they have a lengthy and good credit history on the account that they add you to.

For example, if your mom or dad has an old credit card that they have paid on time for many years, adding you as an authorized user on their account will boost your credit score as the credit history on their account will be transferred to your credit report, boosting your credit score. However, if the primary account holder makes late payments or stops making payments completely, the negative information will show up on your credit report as well. So, make sure that the person adding you to their account as an authorized user is responsible enough to continue making timely payments on their account.

Periodically Check Your Credit Report

If you’re building your credit, it is very important to periodically check your credit report and credit score. If you find any inaccuracies or wrong items on your credit report, you should dispute them so that they will stop hurting your credit score. You’ll be surprised as just how often; you’ll go to check your credit report and you’ll find a collection account that does not belong to you on your credit report. Collection accounts can cause a significant drop in your credit score, so if you ever find a collection account or any derogatory item that’s dragging down your credit score, you should dispute it with the credit reporting bureaus reporting the wrong information.

For example, if you pull your Experian credit report, and Experian is showing a collection account that does not belong to you, you have two options: (1) call the collection agency reporting the wrong information or (2) dispute the information with Experian to have them remove it from your report. Upon removal of incorrect derogatory information from your credit report, you will notice an increase in your credit score.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Good Credit Score?

If you’re just starting to build your credit, it will take you approximately three to six months to have a credit score within the low to mid 700s. By opening a credit card and making timely payments for three to six months, you will have a credit score in the 700s. That said, if you miss even a single payment, you will destroy your credit just as quickly as you built it. So, build strong credit from the beginning and follow good practices to keep your credit history clean and your score high. You should care about maintaining a good credit score for the reasons we are going to discus below.

Why Should You Care About Building a Good Credit Score?

You should care about having a good credit score because it allows you to do the following things:

  • Favorable interest rates on credit cards and loans
  • Better chance for being approved for credit cards, auto loans, and home loans
  • Obtaining higher credit limits on your credit cards
  • Avoiding security deposits on utility accounts
  • Getting a cell phone with no security deposit

Credit Score Planet Frequently Asked Questions

1) How long does it take to get a 700 credit score?

If you’re just starting to build your credit (building credit from nothing), open a secured or unsecured credit card and you will have a score in the 700s within the first three to six months.

2) How can I raise my credit score?

You can raise your credit score by making timely payments on your credit cards and loans, keeping a low balance on your credit cards, keeping accounts open for a long period of time, having a good mix of credit and loans accounts, and checking and disputing any inaccuracies that appear on your credit report.

3) What is the average credit score?

The average credit score in the use is 680.

4) How to get a credit score?

You can get a credit score by opening a credit card or a loan. After your account is open and you make or don’t make payments, your lender will report your account status to the credit reporting bureaus. The bureaus will then use the information in your credit file to calculate a credit score for you.

5) Where can I find my credit score?

You can find your credit score by checking it through services provided by Experian, Transunion, Equifax, Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and so on.