Your credit score could increase by 10 to 50 points or more within a month after paying off your credit cards. Exactly how much your score will increase depends on factors such as how long it took to pay off your debt and how you handle other credit accounts. Everyone’s credit profile is different.
You can estimate how much your credit score is likely to change after getting out of credit card debt using WalletHub's free credit score simulator.
How Paying Off Credit Cards Affects Your Credit Score
Your credit utilization goes down, which raises your credit score.
The general rule is to maintain a credit utilization ratio below 30%, so going from very high utilization to 0% in a single payment could give a considerable boost to your credit score. On the other hand, someone who hasn’t used much of their credit limit might see only a minimal credit score gain when they pay in full.
Neglecting other bills while you’re paying off your cards could negate your progress.
The plan to pay off your credit cards should include a budget that leaves enough money for you to pay your other bills every month. Late or missed payments for things like your rent or car loan could be reported to the credit bureaus and quickly erase any credit score progress.
Closing a paid-off credit card could hurt your credit score.
An open credit card with a $0 balance can still help your credit. On the other hand, closing the account reduces your total available credit and could decrease the average age of your credit accounts, which in turn will likely negatively affect your credit score. This is especially true for credit cards you’ve had for a long time.
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