How Much Will Paying Off Credit Cards Improve Score

How Much Will Paying Off Credit Cards Improve Score

When you find yourself at that point where you want to eliminate most of your credit accounts, you might think that your credit cards should be the first ones to go. While your intention of managing lesser debts is a sound decision, you must also keep in mind how such a move might affect your credit score.

It’s better to weigh on the advantages and disadvantages of paying off your credit cards. You may never know exactly how credit scores are calculated that the safest notion of paying off your credit cards might improve your score – but then again, it might not.

Why Credit Cards are Good Type of Credit to Keep?

You may be one of those who consider your credit cards like two-edged swords – they can make or break your credit. Not everyone with credit cards is successful in handling this type of credit account. But there are really good and practical reasons why you should keep them.

They build a credit history

Because of the frequency in using your credit cards, there are more credit reports sent by your bank and merchants to credit bureaus. It will build your credit history much faster and raise your credit score, even if you don’t have any other types of credits under your name.

They give you quick access to credit purchases and cash borrowing when you need them

You can purchase big-ticket items and pay them on installment, or tap on the cash advance feature anytime.

They offer cash backs and rewards on your purchases

As a loyal card user, you are rewarded in cash or kind that both translate to savings. They come with an expense tracker to help you manage your spending 
Card companies keep your record for years and give you access to it so you can see your spending patterns. This extra service may come useful for you, especially during tax time.

They protect you against fraud

The built-in fraud protection of your credit card gives you peace of mind in cases where your cards get stolen. Card companies act fast once you’ve reported the theft to them that you will hardly lose any cash on fraudulent purchases made on your card.

They have a grace period

When you make a purchase or cash advance and were able to pay it off in 30 days or less, you just literally used other peoples’ money for free.

They are universally accepted

You can walk into any major establishment anywhere in the globe and confidently purchase without being rejected. Some establishments even determine the number of privileges or extra perks to offer you by the type of card you carry.


Will Paying Off My Credit Cards Improve My Score?

The main reason why you’re highly likely to improve your credit score upon paying off your credit card debt is that it will bring down your credit utilization ratio. Second, to payment history, credit utilization ratio is one of the most influential factors affecting your credit score.

Credit utilization indicates how much of your available credit you are currently using. If your total line of credit is $8,000m and you have an outstanding balance of $4,000, you might think that’s a good ratio. This 50% utilization ratio will definitely hurt your score. By paying off a big chunk of your debt, you will now have a significantly lower ratio.

Of course, apart from the improvement in your score, you would also benefit from tons of dollars saved from interest charges and other potential fees when you begin missing payments, or worse, default on your account.


Why Your Credit Score May Experience a Drop When You Finally Pay Off Your Credit Card Debts

It may be strange to think why paying off your credit card debts can also cause some setbacks. But know that even when your score takes a hit, it is only temporary.

Several credit score calculation factors also get affected when you pay off your credit card debts.

Credit Utilization Ratio (30% of credit score)

Credit bureaus will not take it as good news when you have brought down your credit utilization ratio to less than 10%. You appear as a high credit risk because no credit utilization is just as bad as high credit utilization.

Length of Credit History (15% of credit score)

Paying off your credit cards shortens the period where credit bureaus use your submitted credit reports to analyze your credit management. Upon pay off and you decide to close your account, all credit history of that account will no longer be included in your record.

Credit Mix (10% of credit score)

There is no one-size-fits-all credit management because credit experiences vary with each type of credit account. The more variety of credit types you have in your portfolio, the more you can demonstrate sound credit management.

New Credit (10% of credit score)

Because your credit card debts are finally out of the way, you will likely make hard inquiries or apply for a new type of loan. Hard inquiries will cause hard pulls on your credit report, affecting your score almost immediately.

How to Be a Responsible Credit Card User

You might find it quite overwhelming to manage credit cards when avoiding the temptation of using an open line of credit becomes a bit of a struggle. An approach that you might want to consider instead of paying off your credit card debt is to manage your account responsibly. By doing so you’ll avoid debt accumulation that affects most credit card users.

Here are the experts’ advice in managing your credit cards properly.

  • Build a safety net that is equivalent to at least 3 to 6 months worth of your living expenses.
  • Live within your means. Don’t increase your lifestyle spending, even if you have raised your income or salary.
  • Limit your number of credit cards. Select the best three credit cards that you can find, each providing different features that are important to you.
  • Know your credit card terms. The more you know, the more you avoid credit mismanagement.
  • Pay your full balance each month, or more than your minimum amount due.
  • Always pay on time.
  • Avoid cash advances on your credit card because higher APR is applied to them than regular purchases.
  •  Avoid unnecessary balance transfers.

The benefits of having a credit card cannot be underestimated. If you manage them well, they are your best tool in building successful credit and accessing financial opportunities in times when you least expect them. 

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How Long Does it Take to Raise Your Credit Score?

How Long Does it Take to Raise Your Credit Score?

Getting a good credit score is essential in applying for a loan as it helps prove your creditworthiness to lenders. Different types of loans also require you to have a minimum score to be eligible for application. If you have a low credit score, it sends warning signs to lenders that you’re a high-risk borrower. 

The following information will guide you on what is considered a low score and how to raise it to help you with your financial plans.


What is Considered a Low Score?

Credit scoring models categorize your credit score in ranges. Lenders refer to these score categories to determine what type of financing program best fits your credit capacity.

Here is a general parameter on how credit scores are categorized and how potential lenders view them.

Credit Rating Score Impact
Perfect Credit Score 850 Applicants with this score can expect the best loan packages from lenders
Excellent Score 760 – 840 Applicants with this score are likely to be offered better than average rates
Good Credit Score 700 – 759 About 8% in this score range are likely to become delinquent in their credit in the future
Fair Score 650 – 699 Lenders view applicants in this score range as subprime borrowers
Low Score 649 and below If applicants on this score range are approved of a loan at all, they may be required to pay a fee or deposit

While different types of loans require different minimum scores to even qualify for application, lenders will generally consider a score of 600 or higher for high-value loans such as a mortgage.


What Impacts Your Credit Score?

Knowing how these 5 important factors impact your credit score will help you to fix and raise it in the quickest time possible.

Payment History

what impacts your credit score

Your payment history has the most influence on how your credit score is calculated that even one missed payment will hurt your score significantly.

Credit Utilization

This factor describes how much of your available credit you are utilizing. A high credit utilization ratio that is over 30% indicates that you are highly reliant on non-cash funds and sends a warning signal to lenders.

Credit History Length

Your credit history is an important factor in determining your credit score because it shows a lot about how you manage your finances across multiple credit accounts. Ideally, the longer your credit history, the higher your credit scores.

Credit Mix

Credit scoring models give merit to your score when you carry a variety of credit account such as, but not limited to, an auto loan, student loan, credit card, and mortgage. This factor accounts for 10% of your credit score.

New Credit

When you’re in a habit of making hard inquiries or opening one credit account after another, know that it could drag your score and may take a while for your score to bounce back.


How Long Does it Take to Raise Your Score?

The length of time it takes to raise your credit score will depend on a variety of things. Your credit habits, the cause of your low score, and your current credit status all play a part in your score’s recovery time.

Event Ave. Recovery Time
Applying for a new credit card 3 months
Maxed credit card account 3 months
Closing credit card account 3 months
Late mortgage payments (30 – 90 days) 9 months
Missed / default payments 18 months
Home foreclosure 3 years
Bankruptcy 6+ years

It is also important to keep in mind how some financial issues can damage your credit history and linger for a long time, making it a bit of a challenge to fix. Knowing how they impact your credit record will make you avoid committing them in the first place.

There are some outlying circumstances, but for the most part, you can expect late payments and unpaid balances to stay on your credit report for 7 years.

how to improve your credit score


Best Strategies to Raise Your Credit Score

If you need to raise your credit score in the short-term, use these time-tested strategies financial planners recommend.

Pay Your Bills on Time

This may be a struggle to some, but keeping this goal at the top of your priority list will significantly impact your credit score in a positive way. 

Improve Your Credit Utilization Ratio

The sooner you pay off some of your debts, the more revolving credit will open up in your account improving your credit utilization ratio.

Avoid Making Hard Inquiries

Every time you make hard inquiries, your prospective lender makes a hard pull on your credit report, temporarily dragging your score by at least 5 points.

Avoid Applying for Multiple Credits at the Same Time

Multiple new accounts indicate that you are a borrower with high credit risk, thus causes your score to remain on the low side.

Dispute Inaccurate Reports on Your Credit

Always keep a copy of your payments and other important documents that you can refer to later on when you need to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report.

You should always aim to improve your credit score regardless of where your score falls in the score category chart. Having a good credit score opens up a lot of financial opportunities for you — competitive rates, better terms, rewards, and perks — that translates to savings and less challenging debt management.


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Everything You Need to Know About How to Improve Your Credit Score

Everything You Need to Know About How to Improve Your Credit Score

A good credit score is fundamental to your personal financial health. When you approach lenders, they will rely on your credit score to determine what loan programs are accessible to you and on what terms. Having a high credit score means you are a disciplined borrower, thus entitled to low-interest rates, exclusive rewards, and other perks. On the flip side, a low credit score comes with a high cost of loan packages. Even if you already have a good credit score, you should still aim to improve it.


The Benefits of Having a High Credit Score

Most people rely heavily on credit to start a small business, buy a home or car, send children to college, and spend on day-to-day consumer purchases among others. If you are already managing different credit accounts, your credit score would be a direct reflection of how well you manage those accounts.

Having a high credit score gives you the following benefits that mean big savings for you. Think of these as incentives to make you improve your score even more.

Better Chance of Getting Approved

While having a high credit score doesn’t always guarantee approval when you apply for credit or loan, you can still apply with confidence.

Higher Credit Limits 

If your credit score and income capacity are both ideal, you will not have a hard time getting approved for higher limits.

Easier Approval for Rental Homes and Apartments

A high credit score saves you the time and trouble of looking for a place to live because landlords would easily approve you as their tenant.

Better Car Insurance Rates

Insurance companies offset the insurance risk that comes with a bad credit score by using high premiums. But with a high score, you pay significantly less than what others typically would.

Not Having to Pay Security Deposits

Think $100 to $200 savings on security deposits when applying for utility or cell phone plans. You might even get an additional discount on phone purchase prices by signing a contract.


What Factors Affect Credit Score Calculation?

To be successful in your strategies of improving your score, you need to keep in mind the factors that greatly impact how your score is calculated.

how to get a good credit score

Payment History

About 35% of how your score is calculated is all about your payment history. When managing your credits, make sure timely payments are at the top of your priority.

Used Credit vs. Available Credit 

If you have a habit of maxing out your revolving credit with unnecessary spending, then you need to make some adjustments. All scoring models consider your credit utilization rate as the 2nd most important factor in determining your credit score. As a general rule, a good credit utilization rate is 30% of your total credit limit.

Type of Credit Used

It is quite challenging to handle different types of credit accounts – mortgage loans, auto loans, installment plans, student loans, and credit cards – but having these in your credit mix will demonstrate how well you can keep and manage them at the same time.

Length of Credit History

If as a borrower you have committed faulty credit behaviors that affected your credit score, know that there is also merit in fixing those errors. A good length of credit history can show how well you get back on properly handling your credits after some mistakes in the past.

Hard Inquiries

According to FICO, hard inquiries can cause your credit score to dip temporarily by at least less than 5 points. So for every hard inquiry you make, more points are taken out of your score. This is because hard inquiries are considered by scoring models as application for a new loan. So even if you did try to inquire for a mortgage, for example, but eventually didn’t pursue it, the hard inquiry will still create a dent in your score.


How Long Does it Take to Rebuild a Credit Score?

There is no guarantee or specific time on how long it takes to rebuild your credit score. This is because any negative information submitted to update or evaluate your score stays on your record for quite a while. Depending on the damage you have done on your credit, your recovery time may take longer than expected.

Some factors that determine how long it takes to rebuild your credit score include:

  • The type of negative information on your report: These are the types of negative reports businesses submit as records to update your credit score. Some of these are late payments, charge-offs, bills sent to collection agencies, hard inquiries, closed accounts, foreclosure, and bankruptcy among others. Each of these types has a corresponding number of years that stay on your report that could be as short as 2 years or as long as 10 yrs.
  • Amount of negative marks that are on your credit report: Even small mistakes committed one after the other will also affect your credit report.
  • The age of negative information: Age of past and even recent reports also affect how your score is evaluated.
  • Credit standing before your score dropped: You may be given some scoring consideration when a sudden drop in your credit score doesn’t always reflect a lack of discipline on your part, but just an unforeseen financial event.


how to repair your credit

How to Improve Your Credit Score?

While it’s not exactly determined just how long your credit score can recover, studies show that your score can rebound in as short as 2 months when you continue to take positive actions such as:

Paying Your Bills on Time

You can improve your credit by paying on time and keeping a record of these payments.

Paying off Debts

The more you advance your payment, the more revolving credit you will have on your account. This will result in lower credit utilization rate on your record.

Avoid Hard Inquiries

Remember that even if it’s just temporary, hard inquiries drag your credit score almost immediately.


The strategies on how you can improve your credit score are really simple but require a lot of discipline to do. Start by being mindful of the credit mistakes that you might be unaware of, and avoid them at all cost. Raising your credit score takes time, but the sooner you develop a good credit practice, the faster your score will go up.


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