Your credit report and score is a reflection of how responsibly you are handling your debts. If you are looking to finance a new car or home or just looking for better terms on a credit card, you will be evaluated against the yardstick of your credit profile. If your past spending habits and irresponsibility towards your debts have blemished your credit report, then it may become difficult for you to avail new loans.
At this juncture you may think of ways to improve credit score. Getting negative items removed from your report seems one obvious way to increase your score. You may ask for a goodwill adjustment or pay for deletion of entry from your report. Once this bad stuff falls off your report, you should see improvement in your score. But things aren’t so straightforward. Whether your credit score will improve accordingly or not will depend on several factors like the type of negative records (whether they are late payments, collection accounts, charge-offs, bankruptcy), age of these accounts and other information recorded in your report.
It Takes Time to update the credit records
Even if you have asked the creditor to remove the entry, it takes time to flow through the system. A company may take up to 30 days to send the updated information to the credit bureau. Only when the report is updated with new information will you see a change in your credit score. You need to make sure that the updation is done in all the three bureaus. If one particular bureau doesn’t receive the updated info, then you will not see any change in the score from that bureau.
Time of deletion
When a late payment, or a serious negative item like a bankruptcy or a foreclosure appears on your report your score drops significantly. But as time passes the impact of these items on the score starts decreasing. Your recent credit behaviour of on time payments can overshadow your past mistakes to a great extent. Though the older negative items continue to have an effect, it is only in small measure.
So if an old negative account is removed from the report it is unlikely that it will have a lot of positive impact on the credit score. As against this, if a recent collections account drops off the report then it will bring a big boost to your cibil score.
Another point to note is that simply paying off a collections account doesn’t bring any change in your score, it only marks it as paid. As logic suggests if an unpaid account is bringing your score down, paying it off should have a reverse effect of increasing your score. But it doesn’t work like that in credit scores. The fact that a collections record was present on your report is enough to bring your score down, whether it is paid or unpaid. Hence only when you request the lender to delete the entry once you pay, can you see a change in your score. Keep track of whether the collection agency removed the entry after receiving the payment or not.
Different individuals are rated based on different scorecards. Based on the information in the credit report an individual accumulates points which determine his credit score. The type of scorecard used for an individual depends on the length of the credit history, number of credit accounts, presence or absence of negative records and many other factors. As the credit history changes with time so does the score card used for evaluation. A removal of negative information may result in a switching from one type of scorecard to another. The new credit score is based on different set of factors and the points gained on those factors may not necessarily show an increase from the previous score.
One needs to remember that credit score changes do not happen overnight. A lot depends on how you dealt with the negative account, timing of removal and how much the negative record was affecting the score in the first place. One should at least wait for 30-60 days, to see an improvement in the score once the bad stuff was removed from the report.
It is unlikely that you can get rid of all negative records on your report. If that was the case, everybody would have an excellent credit score. The lenders by law are required to report accurate information. So it is better to work on your financial habits, so that you don’t make credit mistakes in the first place. Take on a liability only if you are sure of repaying it as per the set timelines. Be responsible for timely payments of credit card bills and EMIs. Such good credit habits will always ensure an increase credit score.