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Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

Member

Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

I know paying off installment loans early can hurt my credit, but what about paying them down. Currently I have about 20,000 in installment loans. 12,000 of which are student loans which I just started paying on. The other includes 4,000 on a tractor I use to maintain my property, which is paid now to under 50% of the original loan and 4,000 for a bedroom set that is paid down to about 70% of the original loan. My question is this, would paying these loans down to say 50% or less of the original loan improve my credit? Also right now I only have one credit card for Trek through GE Money, it can only be used for trek purchases. I recently paid the balance off to keep from getting hit with interest. Would it be a bad idea to apply for a regular credit card? I also just paid off a past due utility bill for an apartment I moved out of over a year ago that I only found out about by pulling my credit, it had went to collections. I am current on all my other bills (utilities, cable, internet, cell phone). I'm sure I have some past due hits on my credit from when I was unemployed for several months also, but everything is caught up now or paid off. My scores as of now are Transunion 606 Experian 568 Equifax 563
Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

Paying down the bedroom set a bit might help but probably not have much effect. The recent collection is killing your score. Do some looking around on this site and search for PFD (pay for delete) if not paid and GW (Goodwill) if already paid.

 

I don't think you are getting a regular credit card without getting that removed. A secured CC would help your score.

Message 2 of 13
Member

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

I already paid the utility bill and I actually just finished writing them a "Goodwill" Letter just moments ago. My other tactic to raise my credit is to ask a family member with good credit to add me to one of there established credit cards with a low balance and high credit limit. I even told said family member I didnt even want the card that came in my name and that I would even make there payments if that would make up there mind.

Message 3 of 13
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

Looks like you're headed in the right directions.  Have you looked at all your CRs?   You should try for a GW on those lates, see if you can get those down.   Paying down on an installment loan doesn't do much for your credit because the util is not factored on installment loans. 

 

Send those GWs, and keep your payments current.  You should get a secured card that will help with your revolv,   "Good luck!:

Starting Score: 504
July 2013 score:
EQ FICO 819, TU08 778, EX "806 lender pull 07/26/2013
Goal Score: All Scores 760+, Newest goal 800+
Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge

Current scores after adding $81K in CLs and 2 new cars since July 2013
EQ:809 TU 777 EX 790 Now it's just garden time!

June 2017 update: All scores over 820, just pure gardening now.
Message 4 of 13
Member

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

Taking a closer look at my credit score paperwork the bedroom set was bought with a line of credit not an installment loan. It was something the wife wanted and I was the cosigner. Well the account was closed due to inactivity. I now know letting that happen was a mistake. So taking that in to account im actually WAY over my debt to credit utilization. Seeing as right now I only have one open credit card with a 1500 dollar limit and I still owe over 3,000 on the bedroom set.

 

Message 5 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

After reading this thread I checked and just realized I don't have an installment loan. Last one I had was about three years ago for a car loan.

Starting Score: EQ 717 EX 724 TU 736
Current Score: EQ 832 EX 783 TU 816
App free since 9/15/15
Message 6 of 13
Member

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

Im curious how much paying my revolving debt down to say 100.00 bucks will raise my score. That would put my credit utilization to positive 1,400.00

Message 7 of 13
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

Utilization on revolving accounts plays a big part in your scores.  9% or less seems to be the optimal setting.

Starting Score: 504
July 2013 score:
EQ FICO 819, TU08 778, EX "806 lender pull 07/26/2013
Goal Score: All Scores 760+, Newest goal 800+
Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge

Current scores after adding $81K in CLs and 2 new cars since July 2013
EQ:809 TU 777 EX 790 Now it's just garden time!

June 2017 update: All scores over 820, just pure gardening now.
Message 8 of 13
Member

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

But paying the revolving debt off completely might actually lower my score or keep it from rising the most possible, correct?

 

Message 9 of 13
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Will paying down installment loans raise my credit score?

Yes, that is correct.  Magic number seems to be between 1 and 9%.

Starting Score: 504
July 2013 score:
EQ FICO 819, TU08 778, EX "806 lender pull 07/26/2013
Goal Score: All Scores 760+, Newest goal 800+
Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge

Current scores after adding $81K in CLs and 2 new cars since July 2013
EQ:809 TU 777 EX 790 Now it's just garden time!

June 2017 update: All scores over 820, just pure gardening now.
Message 10 of 13