Borrow Credit Scores

Buying a Home: Can I Boost My Credit Score Quickly?

Brittany VanDerBill  |  May 27, 2022

Buying a home is so exciting—until you realize your credit score may need some help. Here's what not to do to maintain a good credit score.

Buying a home is such an exciting time, especially if your search for the perfect home was lengthy or challenging—and whose home search isn’t these days! Of course, once you locate your dream home, it’s time to line up a mortgage. But what if your credit score could use a bit of a boost? Are there ways to quickly improve your credit score? To find the answers (just in time for National Credit Education Month!), we asked a couple of experts in the financial services industry. Here’s their advice.


So, is there a quick way to increase your credit score? The short answer is: not really. 

Roberta King, Vice President, Branch Leader at Fidelity Investments, says, “In general, building a strong credit history takes time. That’s why it makes sense to adopt good credit habits even if you aren’t looking to apply for a loan in the near future. That way, if or when you plan to buy a home, you should already be in a strong position to do so.”

But what if you’re about to buy a house and need to get a mortgage sooner rather than later? Our experts shared a few more tips for you and your credit score when buying a home.


King advises that if you’re looking to improve or even just maintain your credit score, there are five things to pay attention to: “payment history, credit usage, length of credit history, new credit and credit mix.” 

King goes on to say that the more payments you make on time, the higher your credit score. She also notes that credit usage is “another major piece of the puzzle.” She elaborates, “{M}ake sure your outstanding balance is never more than 30% of your credit limit. All else equal, using less of the total credit available to you should help improve your credit score.”

Zev Fried, CRPC®, financial advisor, former real estate finance professional, Los Angeles, CA, agrees. Fried tells us, “Another credit score raising secret is to maintain a low credit-utilization level – 30% or lower is ideal…someone with a $10,000 credit line should be $3,000 or lower in debt.”

This is an important tip to keep in mind if you’re thinking about buying a home. It’s a good idea to take a look at how much debt you’re carrying on each line of credit you currently have.


Granted, there’s no magic bullet that will boost your credit score quickly when you buy a home. However, there are some critical things to avoid doing when you’re purchasing a house and want an appealing credit score.

“If you’re concerned about your credit score when applying for a mortgage do not take on any additional credit at that time,” advises Fried. Instead, try to time those other loan or credit card applications long after you buy the house—King recommends waiting for about a year after you close.

Fried also recommends that you don’t close down any existing lines of credit, including credit cards, while you’re buying a home. Doing so “lowers your utilization number, making you less attractive to a lender.” Fried notes that “the older the credit line/card the more valuable you are in relation to your credit score.”

King elaborates on this concept, saying, “Having a long credit history shows you have more experience managing debt. That’s why it may make sense to keep old credit cards open, even if you don’t actively use them anymore.” However, she cautions that closing a credit card may be wise if there are yearly fees or you’re too tempted to spend more than you should. 


King recommends that you “be discerning about who you share your credit with. Their actions may end up impacting your credit score, so consider carefully before helping a family member co-sign a loan or adding another to your credit card as an authorized user.”

In addition, discernment pays off for your credit score. Fried says, “Each time you apply for credit an inquiry is made. An inquiry can slightly weaken your score as it may be a sign that you’re taking on more debt.”


Improving your credit score is entirely possible, though it’s not typically a quick process. If you’re in the market for a home, be sure to take a good look at your credit score now. Ideally, you’ll want to follow these expert tips to start boosting your credit score before buying a home. And as King notes, “Ultimately, keeping your finances in good shape overall should help you keep your credit on track as well.” 


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