Will Making My Payments on Time for 6 Months Raise My Credit Score?

by Lisa McQuerrey
You can get a jump start on credit repair in six months.

There is no quick fix for repairing bad credit, but consistently making your payments on time will slowly rebuild your score. Making payments promptly for six months is certainly a step in the right direction for improving your credit score, but how much your score goes up depends on how bad it was to begin with.

Credit Misuse

It is easy to become tangled in credit issues, especially when you're using credit for the first time. Credit card debt can sneak up on you, especially if you use cards with low introductory interest rates that jump after an initial time or if you don't have a steady income to ensure on-time repayment of debt obligations. Avoid taking on more debt than you can repay and don't apply for or use new credit while you’re making repair efforts.

On-Time Payments

Making sure every bill is paid on time will start to improve your credit score, even after just six months. Consider setting up automatic withdrawals from your checking account or make online payments to meet every debt deadline. Paper checks can be lost or delayed and applied to your account late, so the electronic approach gives you more control as well as an e-record to show when and how you made your payment and when it was credited to your account.

Other Credit Improvement Tips

In addition to making on-time payments, pay down the balance on outstanding debt as much as possible to boost your credit score. The more you can pay down in that six-month period, the better. Talk to a qualified nonprofit credit or debt counselor to learn more about budgeting and repairing your credit. The Federal Trade Commission offers tips on how to find a legitimate agency or professional to help you in this area.

Credit Monitoring

When you're working to improve your credit score, monitor your credit on a regular basis so you can see the positive impact your on-time payments are making. This is a good habit to get into because it can protect against identity theft and alerts you to potential fraud or misuse of your personal credit. If you see inaccuracies or unfamiliar accounts on your report, notify the credit bureau right away. Fixing mistakes can boost your credit score.

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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