Paying everything off may not improve scores immediately

Dear Experian,

I have paid everything off, except for one dispute. Why has my credit score not improved?



Dear RRD,

Paying everything off is a great start to improving your creditworthiness, but you are overlooking the one key element to credit scores overlooked by most consumers: time.

Credit scores do not just weigh the present status of your debts. A record of on-time payments is necessary to demonstrate that you can reliably manage your debts. You must demonstrate through good credit management over time that you will not repeat the mistakes that landed you in credit difficulties previously.

Now that your debts are paid, you need to keep your balances low and continue to make any remaining payments on time. Your scores will slowly begin to improve as time passes.

The worse your difficulties, the longer it will take, but you will be able to rebuild a positive credit history that will be reflected in strong credit scores.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team