Get Out of Debt Guy

How Long Will it Take for a Good Credit Score?

Posted September 16, 2013

WRAL Reader Question

Dear Steve,

I lost my job and had money problems.

I got behind on my mortgage and got a 2 and a 3 and 8 more 2's on my credit score. I did get caught up 8 months ago.

I have a car payment that is half paid and 2 credit cards that the balances are low on. I am hopping to sell my house and buy a smaller one. I would like to list it in the spring of next year.

How long will it take to recover my good score, so that I can.


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Dear Sandra,

For those readers who might not understand what your 2s where, I believe you were saying you had fallen a couple of months behind on your mortgage payment.

Selling your house and downsizing is an excellent way to live easier within your income. Running into tough times and facing financial struggles is often a wakeup call to refocus our lives to avoid such issues in the future.

Ultimately you will need to speak with a mortgage broker to discuss your current situation, available lender programs, and to evaluate your credit score for a well priced new mortgage.

But the good news here is if you keep up on all your payments, don't carry a balance of more than 30 percent of your credit limits on your credit cards, and don't take on more debt, your chances look good.

The easiest and surefire way to improve a bad credit score in your situation is to not close your credit cards, make all payments on a timely basis, and let time pass from the last time you were delinquent. The more time that passes, the less the old delinquency will negatively impact you.

But I'm not so sure I'd wait till spring to sell. Only by talking with a few local real estate agents will you get a better idea if your house might be in demand in a low supply real estate market now. If so, you might be able to maximize your profit from the sale of your house. 

I'd also suggest you find a local mortgage broker and talk to them now about what you would qualify for. It might be that interest rates are projected to rise next year and there is a program out there for you now. 

You won't know till you do some homework so you can make a fully informed decision.


Steve Rhode
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

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About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.