Reporting Kristine Johnson
NEW YORK (CBS 2) – When Deborah Davenport found the home of her dreams, she ran into a problem that many Americans face everyday: a low credit rating.
Without the credit to back her up, she was dealing with an uphill battle and potentially could have lost the house to another buyer.
“I was looking for the best rate I could get on a mortgage,” she told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson.
Luckily for Davenport, a credit expert suggested something called a “rapid rescore,” a shortcut process to improve your credit rating within a hurry.
“Rapid rescore is essentially an unscheduled update to the information on your credit report,” said John Ulzheimer of Credit.com.
Here’s how it works: consumers pay a company specializing in rapid rescoring to calculate where your credit rating needs to be to get what you want. It could be a lease on a new car, an approval on an apartment rental, or in Davenport’s case, a loan on a new house.
By calculating how far consumers need to go, the companies then tell you exactly what you need to do to secure a better score.
Davenport had to pay off a $500 balance on a credit card that had a limit of just $700. Having such a high balance on a card with such a low limit was throwing her debt to credit ratio off.
“So by paying that $500 and now putting the card to a zero balance, it lowered my ratios,” Davenport said.
And it happens immediately. Normally, it would take the credit card company up to 45 days to report that payment to the credit agencies, but that’s where the rapid in “rapid rescore” kicks in.
“So if you pay off a credit card or pay off a collection, for example, then through the process of rapid updating they can have that information reflected within 24 to 72 hours,” Ulzheimer said.
Financial experts said the rapid rescore can make all the difference.
“It can take someone who can’t qualify right now and get them to that credit score level where they do qualify for a mortgage, or it might get them to the level where they qualify for a better interest rate,” Wayne Sanford, of the New Start Financial Corp., said.
However, consumer advocates warn that not all rescore agencies are legitimate. The process can also be costly at a minimum of $90, and it doesn’t always work for everyone.
Davenport was lucky. Her rapid rescoring helped her land a low interest mortgage and so much more.
“I’m able to get better rates on other cards and other types of loans, even my car loan recently, I was able to get a very low rate because the score, my credit score, is higher than it would have been,” Davenport said.
True rapid rescoring is only available through a lender or broker, so watch out for companies that market directly to consumers.
For more information on how you can rapidly rescore, please click here.