Credit score tips with Money Matchmaker®

How long does it take to improve your credit score?

Written by

Shaun McGowan

The length of time it takes to change your credit score will depend on a few different factors.

The first of these will be your starting position - where your credit score currently sits.

Credit scores are split into five ranges, from low to excellent, and each of the three main credit rating agencies in Australia uses slightly different ranges for credit scores.

Credit score ExperianEquifaxCredit Simple

Excellent

800-1000

833-1,200

800-1000

Very good

700-799

726-832

700-799

Average

500-699

622-755

625-699

Fair

300-499

510-621

550-624

Low

0-299

0-509

0-549

That might sound like a bit of a cop-out, but hear us out:

  • Improving your credit score is raising your score from Good to Excellent.
  • Rebuilding your credit score is consistently positive financial behaviour over time.
  • Repairing your credit score is resolving any outstanding debts and defaults.

Each of these represents a different person on the credit-score scale, where certain actions can have a greater impact than others. 

However, there are similarities between the three, in that negative actions will continue to lower your score, and positive actions will continue to raise your score. 

Calculating how long it will take to change your credit score

  • Payment defaults are removed from your credit report after five years.
  • Bankruptcies are removed from your credit report either two years from the date your bankruptcy finishes or five years after it begins - whichever is longer.
  • Debt agreements are removed after five years in most cases.
  • Court judgements are removed after five years.
  • Credit enquiries are removed after five years.
  • Late payments are removed after two years.

Want to know the fastest ways to rebuild your credit score?

If you’re trying to improve your credit score, it’s highly likely that you’ve already requested your credit report from an Australian credit agency. 

If you haven’t, this will be crucial to both understanding your starting position, and tracking your progress. 

You can check your credit score for free and without any impact on your credit score with Money Matchmaker®.

You'll need to create an account with these details:

  • Full legal name
  • Driver Licence number
  • Residential address
  • Date of birth

Your score won't be negatively affected and we protect your data with encryptions.

See what parts of your credit report are negatively, or positively, affecting your score.

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When does my credit score get updated?

Creditors report to credit agencies periodically (usually monthly), so don’t panic if your score isn’t immediately updated - this goes the same for disputing inaccuracies on your credit report with a credit agency.

However, if your credit score still hasn’t been updated after 30 days, then you might want to raise the issue with the credit scoring agency to ensure you aren’t missing any outstanding defaults or debt that is holding you back.

How to improve your credit score

Lower credit scores improve faster

Lastly, the lower your credit score, the faster it can improve. If you have a somewhat solid credit history and you’re wanting to raise your score from Good to Excellent, it’ll take a lot more work and time than trying to build your rating from Low to Average.

However, regardless of the position you start from, the better you become at managing your finances and meeting regular repayments, the sooner your credit history will improve.

Consistency is key, and remember that ‘on-time payments’ and ‘missed payments’ are the ‘one-step-forward, two-steps-back’ of rebuilding your credit score.

Getting help with bad credit and debt

If you’re finding it difficult to manage your credit score and debts, you’re not alone - the majority of Australians have struggled with debt at some point in their lives. 

Your first option is to contact your credit provider and ask for help with financial hardship. They may be able to adjust your loan and/or repayments to make it easier to repay.

You can also call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. They offer free, independent financial counselling that could help you create a budget and sort out your debt. 

Always remember that there is help available for you if you need it, and seeking professional advice can be the first step toward fully understanding and resolving your situation.

Get help with your finances if you have bad credit with Money Matchmaker

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About the Author

Shaun McGowan from money.com.au

Shaun

McGowan

Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of Money.com.au and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.

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