Dena Standley | October 19, 2022
Summary: Can get your credit score to increase? SoloSuit breaks down 6 reasons why your credit score isn't going up and how to fix it.
You have probably checked your credit score several times and are wondering why it has stagnated for a while now. You most likely tried to make your debt payments on time. In fact, you may have cleared a debt hoping it would improve. Or maybe you have even stopped applying for a new line of credit. Still, your credit score has not changed.
It is frustrating for a credit-conscious consumer to see their credit score stagnate. Some key factors determine the state of your credit score. For example, FICO Score 8 credit score and VantageScore 3.0 credit score models use the following factors to determine your overall credit score.
Factors Affecting Credit Score
Length of credit history
Using these factors as a guide, we will discuss six reasons your credit score could be frozen and tips on how you can improve the situation.
The amount you owe on your credit card and loan accounts is the second-highest determinant of your credit score. A debt you are closer to clearing has a positive effect on your score than a debt balance you are starting to pay off. In addition, credit reporting agencies use a credit utilization ratio to determine the score to give you.
Credit utilization ratio is the amount of accessible credit divided by your credit limit. As your credit debt balance increases, so does your credit utilization ratio, which affects your credit score negatively.
To increase your FICO credit score or VantageScore, you need to keep the credit utilization ratio at 30% and below. For instance, if your entire credit limit is $5,000, your total credit debt balances should not go above $1,500.
Missing payments or making late payments adversely affects your credit score because it makes up 35% of your overall credit score. A day or two-day-old late payment may not be reported to the credit bureau, but you risk getting an entry on your credit report if you delay payment for up to 30 days. One entry has the potential to cause a significant drop in your score and will not increase immediately even after making payments.
Unfortunately, a late debt payment can stay on your credit for seven years, though the effects become less severe over time. Your credit score should improve as you consistently make payments on time. You can also send a goodwill deletion letter to your creditors requesting them to remove the late payment before the seven years are over. Some consumers decide to settle the entire debt to avoid late payment penalization, but this move can have adverse effects, as George Simons explains in this video:
Having a limited credit history stagnates your credit score because of minimal recorded activities. Factors that determine the length of your credit history are:
Improving your credit score due to limited credit history is a challenge; the only thing you can do is to wait as you bulk up your credit history. Another option is to become an authorized user on a friend or family member's credit card.
As an authorized user, you stand to benefit from the primary cardholder's credit history as you use their card to make purchases. Your credit score will increase when the primary cardholder makes payments on time and keeps a low balance. Before using this method, make sure the credit card issuer informs the credit reporting companies that you are an authorized user.
Most creditors use debt collection agencies to collect debt. While transferring debt information, crucial details get mixed up, and you may mistakenly receive inaccurate information on your credit report. Incorrect entries that can lower or stagnant your credit score include:
If you notice incorrect details on your credit report, send a Debt Validation Letter to the creditor or a dispute letter to the credit reporting companies. Additionally, frequently checking your credit report enables you to catch and correct these errors..
As you shop for a new line of credit, a lender will check your credit report to see your borrowing history and credit score. This process results in a hard inquiry entry on your credit report. Having two to three hard inquiries has a negligible effect on your credit score. But multiple hard inquiries on your credit report raise red flags and can reduce your credit score by 5–10 points.
To deal with this challenge, minimize the number of hard inquiries by doing your shopping for new credit within a short period. For example, the FICO model recognizes the need for rate shopping and defines a shopping period as 45 days. This timeline means that you can complete several credit applications in a 45-day period, and it will appear as one credit inquiry on your credit report.
Major events such as defaulting on a loan, declaring bankruptcy, or your account going to collection can considerably impact your credit report. These events affect your credit score for years, and it may take around six months to one year or more before your score increases.
There is little you can do to improve your score after declaring bankruptcy. But, you can work on your credit score if you have defaulted on a loan by talking to your creditor and planning to start payments. If your debt account has been handed over to a collection agency and you have been sued, SoloSuit can help. Our software allows you to draft an Answer, which you must send within 14–30 days after receiving the lawsuit. The video below gives you tips for drafting an Answer that will help you win in court.
After sending the Answer, you can use our other legal documents to settle the debt out of court, which will eventually improve your credit score.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
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