Credit Score Improving Your Score

Why Leaving Your Credit Alone Helps Your Credit Score

Eric Rosenberg
Written by Eric Rosenberg

If you have less than stellar credit, you may want to jump into action to fix your credit score as quickly as possible. However, action may be the opposite of what you need for a credit score boost. In fact, one of the best things you can do to improve your credit score is nothing. Credit reports and credit scores are a long game, and there are few quick actions to turn a bad score into a good one, or a good one into a great one. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fix or improve your credit. Follow along to learn why leaving your credit alone helps your credit score.

Items stay on your credit report for a long time

If you have a bad credit score and want to buy a new home or car with a loan, you may be in for a tough path forward. If you can get approved at all, you will face higher interest rates than the best credit borrowers. You might want to put in some work and hustle to fix your credit score in a short period of time. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. In most cases, you can’t fix a bad credit score quickly.

The biggest reason for the slow recovery process is how long it takes for negative information to drop off of a credit report. Late and missed payments stay on your credit for seven years. Some negative data, like a bankruptcy or judgement, can stay on your credit for up to ten years. With a full decade to get rid of the worst credit mistakes, there is little to do to get rid of those bad marks.

The one exception is if you find negative information that ended up on your credit report in error, which is very common in the United States. If you do find negative derogatory information on your credit report that is not accurate, you can file a dispute with the credit agency to get the problem information removed. In a few rare cases, you may be able to get a negative item removed if it has been paid and resolved, but that is rare. In most cases, you’ll just have to wait it out.

About the author

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer originally from Denver, Colorado living in Ventura, California. When away from the keyboard, Eric he enjoys exploring the world, flying small airplanes, discovering new craft beers, and spending time with his wife and baby girl. You can connect with him at his own finance blog Personal Profitability.

5 Comments

  • “Awaiting moderation” is code for “if you do or say anything to reveal how the system works, we will block it”. It’s bad for the credit repair industry.

    • We have been receiving a lot of spam lately so we turned moderation back on 🙂

      As long as people aren’t spamming dangerous links, their comments will be approved. Just like this one.

  • I explained exactly why the above comment is correct, tried to post it and got a message; “Looks like you’ve posted this before” Which is typical of the whole crooked system. Looks like you’ll have to analyze the above statement on your own.
    Be aware though that the comment is correct, but the credit industry doesn’t want you to know why or how to avoid it. So, like usual, you’re on your own,

  • Please explain this . oh and the bureaus did confirm that this is wgat they do when you pay down to zero balances. I called. So how can i get into the 800 club across the board ?! It seems impossible .

  • The Best credit card balance for a high credit score is zero…not so. When i paid all of my cc accounts to zero balance .. Within just one week my ficos dropped from ..for example…777 transunion down to 654 and the othet two down from equi very good to fair and exp from good to poor..TRANS says i can get my 777+ back once i am 25000.00 in debt again..i infer the other two will still be a problem as each prefers a certain amount of debt / cc utilization. Paying down my bills was a bad move

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