Because of my shopping habit and various small issues with my car, my balances on my card have increased and in result decreased my FICO score by 51 points in a matter of 8 months 699 to 648!! I have not missed one payment and I plan to pay off all balances by the beginnging of the year. Does it take longer or about the same time to increase a credit score than to decrease one? If so, what would you recommend to speed up the process. I'm hoping for a 700-720 by April, 2010. Thanks for the advice
There is only one way to speed up the process. Pay the balances off quicker. Utilization calculations are momentary, meaning it doesn't matter what your utilization on your credit cards was last month. If you run up $10,000 in CC debt, but a couple months later pay it all off, your score will be the same as if you never had the debt to begin with, assuming nobody messes with your limits and you pay on time.
So as soon as you pay off the balances, give plus or minus 30 days for all your balances to update on your credit reports, and your score will be back where it was, assuming no additional changes to your file.