Rapid rescore is used by mortgage lenders to help prospective borrowers update their credit files with positive information within a few days. Here’s how it works, what it costs, what it can’t help you with and a few alternatives.
Dear Keeping Score,I would like to get a phone number that I can talk with someone about getting my credit score higher with something called rapid rescore. – Maribel
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but I can’t give you a phone number to call to get a rapid rescore because that’s not how it works.
Rapid rescore is used by mortgage lenders to help prospective borrowers update their credit files with positive information within a few days.
This is used especially if a consumer has made early payments on any outstanding credit, removed any negative entries on their credit report or recently paid back any debt. This is not a service that a consumer can use on their own.
How much does rapid rescore cost?
You can certainly ask your lender if it offers rapid rescoring. This service charges lenders a fee, typically between $20 and $100, so not all of them participate. Just be aware that while the lender cannot charge you for the fee directly, closing fees may be higher because the cost will almost certainly be reclaimed in one way or another.
If you are close to a lender’s pricing point with your current credit score and a bump would put you over to qualify for a better interest rate, it could well be worth finding a lender that participates in rapid rescoring. Some lenders do a rapid rescore for their own safety before approving a loan just to be sure they have the most up-to-date information available.
See related: 5 steps to a mortgage-worthy credit profile
What rapid rescore does
Rapid rescoring works best for you if something positive has changed in your life but is not yet on your credit report or hasn’t yet made its way into the credit scoring system. Say you pay down a credit card balance (credit utilization counts for a large percentage of your credit score) right before you apply for a large loan. It can take weeks to a month for that positive data to normally be reported and included in your credit score.
The same holds true for correcting credit report errors, making early payments or having paid off a debt in full. A rapid rescore will ensure that your entire credit profile is completely updated much more quickly, often within a few days or less and ready for any application process.
See related: Which credit scores do mortgage lenders use?
Rapid rescore alternatives
While you can’t get a rapid rescore on your own, one way you can maximize your credit score faster yourself is to use the Experian Boost product. An early entry into what is called “alternative data” (data supplied by or with the permission of the consumer), Boost allows the consumer to pick which phone and utility bill payment history is added to your credit history.
Adding more positive data to a credit report will boost a score, especially a thin one (a credit report with few entries), by strengthening payment history, which is the largest scoring category. It is free, virtually instantaneous and you can see the results before applying for a loan, thereby not risking a surprise turndown.
Even better, any negative data does not get scored, unlike rapid rescore which scores all changes – good or bad.
Also in the realm of alternative data, FICO is expected to soon offer the option for a consumer to get extra points by allowing access to banking data via UltraFICO. Money in the bank and no checking issues may beef up your score.
For renters, rental history can be taken into account if a landlord reports payments to the Experian Rent Bureau.
Note that these products will only be shown on your Experian credit report, so if you are trying to beef up your score for a specific creditor you will need to let them know to pull your Experian file for the most up to date information.
When rapid rescore won’t help
I generally recommend that you allow six months before applying for new or large credit lines to give enough time for you to review and correct any credit report errors and to consciously add positive data, such as paying down high utilization credit lines, to your credit report.
Remember that negative information that is accurate and not out of date (usually seven years) cannot be removed from your credit report. Only time will heal the wounds caused by most late payments or other derogatory marks on your credit report.
Depending on which score and version a lender is using, small collection accounts and medical debts likely won’t hurt your score. But if you find an account on your report that does not belong to you or that is still showing as owed but that you have paid off, you can certainly have those removed with the proper documentation to the credit bureaus. This may take some time, but will definitely be worth it in the long run.
Remember to keep track of your score!