The service could increase your credit score within just a few days.
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Your credit score is a crucial factor in determining your interest rate on a mortgage, and even a small rate decrease can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Typically, improving your credit score takes months. But with rapid rescoring, you can achieve your goal in just a few days.
Rapid rescoring is a service that mortgage lenders provide to homebuyers whose credit scores might need just a little bump. It’s not a cure-all, however. There are some limitations to consider before you request it, and it likely won’t have the same effect as the months of work it usually takes to improve your credit.
What Is Rapid Rescoring?
When you dispute an error on your credit report, it can take time for the credit bureaus to update your information. And if you pay down a credit card or loan balance, you typically have to wait until the creditor reports that information to the credit bureaus.
Rapid rescoring essentially accelerates that updating process and can incorporate the latest changes to your credit status into your credit score. It’s not something you can do on your own.
In the right situation, it can help you get a lower interest rate or even make it possible to get approved in the first place.
“The most common instance where rapid rescoring can help is when you need a minimum credit score to qualify for a loan program,” says Jared Maxwell, vice president and direct sales division leader at Embrace Home Loans.
In some cases, mortgage lenders can even tell you which areas of your credit history to address.
“As mortgage lenders, we have the ability to see how much their credit score can go up and what needs to be done to make the score go up,” says Soni Seth, a loan officer at Freedom Mortgage. “We run a report for them to show them what liabilities can be paid off and how much each liability should be paid off to get their credit score up.”
How Much Does Rapid Rescoring Cost?
The cost of a rapid rescore can vary based on how many credit reports you want to be updated – you have three among Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – and how many credit accounts need to be updated.
“Each bureau can cost up to $150 each,” says Seth. ” We usually update all three bureaus, so that is $450 per line item. If you have to do a rescore on four different credit cards, for example, it can cost almost $5,400.00″
How Long Does it Take to Get a Rapid Rescore?
It generally takes three to five business days to complete the process. Before you start, though, make sure you’ve addressed the issues that are hurting your credit score.
For example, if you need to pay down a credit card balance, make sure the payment goes through beforehand. The same goes for credit report disputes and other areas where an improvement can make a difference for your mortgage.
If you’re not in a rush to buy a home, however, consider taking steps long before you apply for a mortgage to work on improving your credit score. While a rapid rescore can make a difference, it doesn’t compare to the work you can do over several months to pay down credit cards, dispute errors and get everything else in order.
Does Rapid Rescoring Really Work?
Like any other action you can take to improve your credit, the answer is, it depends. While the intent of the process is to improve your credit score, there’s no guarantee it will go up.
For example, a mortgage lender may run a rapid rescore and find a new delinquent payment or another issue that results in a lower credit score. As a result, it’s crucial that you take your entire credit situation into account before requesting the rescore to make sure you don’t get any negative surprises.
According to Maxwell, it’s also important to consider other effects the process can have on your ability to buy a home. “You could use a large amount of your savings to pay down debt and not see the desired change in your credit score,” he says.
Even if the process does work, you’ll have less cash on hand to make a down payment and pay for repairs, maintenance and emergencies once the home is yours.