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Conventional wisdom holds that there is no legal, legitimate way to improve your credit score very quickly. It’s true that companies that promise “fast fixes” for your credit score are either lying or plan to take measures that are unethical (at best) or illegal (at worst).
However, if you are applying for a mortgage, home equity loan or refinancing, and discover errors on your credit report, your mortgage broker can perform a rapid rescore for you and raise your credit score in as quickly as 72 hours.
For mortgage applicants, a better credit score can:
- mean you’ll be accepted — rather than rejected — for a loan
- lower your interest rate by one or more percentage point
- decrease the points you may have to pay
- mean you’ll pay less interest over the life of your mortgage — if you have a 30-year mortgage, this can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars
- qualify you for a higher loan so you can afford a nicer or larger house (because your payments will go down if your interest rate is lower)
What Can Rapid Rescore Fix?
Rapid rescore can fix errors in your credit report related to payments that you made and were never reported, so that an account is listed “in default” when it is not.
It can fix “chargebacks” and disputes that were incorrectly reported and so, again, it shows that the account is in default but it is not. It can also fix negative items that should have been removed from your credit report because they are more than seven or 10 years old (depending on the item) but were not removed.
It can also fix errors related to incorrect information — such as delinquencies reported on a credit report that actually belong to someone else with the same name. This is the easiest mistake to fix, as it simply requires showing that your social security number is different from the person with the delinquency or default.
However, if you were to do this by yourself, it would require letters to all three credit bureaus and would still take 30 days or more to fix. Your mortgage broker can fix the problem in less than 72 hours with the rapid rescore process.
What Rapid Rescore Can’t Fix
Rapid rescore can’t fix delinquencies on your account that are accurate or accounts where you still owe late payments. However, you can make a payment in full — to take your account out of default — and then perform a rapid rescore showing an account is current. Of course, a delinquency of 90 days or more still adversely affects your credit score, but a current account is better than an account still in default, which could prevent you from getting a mortgage.
What You’ll Need to Do for a Rapid Rescore
Your mortgage broker will take care of the paperwork for a rapid rescore, but you’ll need to provide some information that will help.
In most cases, you’ll need to obtain a letter from the creditor, on company letterhead, explaining that there’s been an error and what needs to be taken off the account or corrected. The letter should also include your account number and name, as well as your creditor’s contact name and phone number.
To correct larger mistakes, like judgments, defaults and bankruptcies that should have been removed but were not, you may need certified “satisfaction of judgment” from the court, a certified tax lien release from the IRS or certified bankruptcy discharge papers.
Also be prepared to pay a small fee (small compared to the amount of money you’ll save with a lower interest rate!) of approximately $50 to $100 to pay for the rapid rescore process.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Rapid Rescore
As you can see, rapid rescore will still cost you money. Those 72 hours or less while you wait for your new credit score so you can move ahead with the mortgage approval can be a nail-biting time. If you plan to apply for a mortgage, home equity loan, or refinancing, it’s best to plan ahead.
Obtain copies of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus at least 90 days before you begin to apply for the loan. Take the time to fix any errors yourself, for free. We talk about how to repair your credit for free in this article.
Also, focus on paying your bills on time so you’ll have three more months of on-time payments in your credit history, which will help raise your credit score.
Sometimes errors pop up at the eleventh hour before closing, and, in these cases, a rapid rescore is your best course of action. But, given time and patience, you can correct any errors on your credit report and raise your credit score yourself — for free.