A home loan is the most significant chunk of debt most Americans ever borrow, by a large margin. The average mortgage debt is roughly $208,185, while student loans and auto loans average just $38,792 and $19,703, respectively.
When you’re considering taking on such a large amount of debt over such a long term, even a slight interest rate reduction can lead to massive savings. A rapid rescore is one way to get a quick rate cut if you don’t like a lender’s initial offer.
Here’s everything you should know about rapid rescores, including how they work, who they help, and how to get one.
What is a Rapid Rescore?
The rapid rescore process accelerates updates to your credit report, usually to boost your credit score after making positive changes that lenders haven’t reported yet. Consumers often use it to lower their interest rate on a time-sensitive loan like a mortgage.
👉 For example:
Say you apply for a home loan and receive an offer of $200,000 at 3.8%. You need the funds to close on your property within the next week, but the interest rate is higher than you like.
Now imagine that you made a large payment the previous week that significantly reduced your credit utilization ratio. You think that your credit score would increase if it included that change, but you know the creditor in question won’t report the payment until two weeks later, which is after you need to close.
To hasten the update, you request a rapid rescore. That refreshes your credit report and hopefully lets you qualify for a lower interest rate before you have to close.
What a Rapid Rescore Can’t Do
A rapid rescore is only helpful in specific situations. A rapid rescore is not credit repair. It won’t affect your actual credit history or change what belongs on your report. It only updates the record so that your credit score reflects your most recent activities.
⚠️ A rapid rescore will not cause negative items to age off your credit report any faster.
For example, if you’ve missed a payment or defaulted on a loan, it will remain on your credit report for seven years from the date of the first missed payment. If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, it will still show for up to ten years. Rescores won’t have any effect on the clock.
📘 Learn More: Items stay on your credit report for a fixed amount of time. Find out how long you can expect them to last with this handy guide: How Long Do Items Stay on My Credit Report?
When Does a Rapid Rescore Make Sense?
Not every mortgage borrower will benefit from a rapid rescore. In fact, most people probably won’t. A rapid rescore is only profitable if there is a discrepancy in your credit report that, if updated, would increase your score enough to lower your interest rate.
👉 For example:
Say your initial mortgage lender’s offer is a 3.50% fixed rate on a 30-year, $250,000 home loan. In an attempt to boost your credit score, you pay down $10,000 of credit card debt, paying off one account entirely and reducing your utilization ratio.
You request a rapid rescore from your mortgage lender to update your account for these changes, which drops you down to a 3.25% interest rate on the same mortgage.
☝️ While 0.25% might not seem like much, it’s significant when you’re dealing with a mortgage of $250,000.
👉 At the initial interest rate, you’d pay $154,140 in interest over the life of the loan. After the rapid rescore, you’d pay $141,686. That’s a cost savings of $12,454, which easily covers the $10,000 you put toward your credit card debt to qualify for it.
How Much Does a Rapid Rescore Cost?
Rapid rescores aren’t free, and they get more expensive the more changes you need to make. The price correlates directly with the number of accounts and the number of credit reports you need to adjust, as it’s usually between $20 and $50 per account for each credit bureau.
However, the Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits lenders from charging borrowers for this service, so if you request a rescore, your mortgage lender will have to eat the cost. Because of this, not every lender offers rapid rescore services.
⚠️ Before you reach out to your lender to request one, make sure you know precisely what you need to update. If you ask for a rescore of unnecessary accounts and artificially inflate the cost for your lender you may end up with even worse terms.
Make sure to check your Experian, Equifax, and Transunion credit reports to confirm that the desired update is missing on all of them. The information on each credit report is often similar, but it might not be identical.
Lenders don’t have an obligation to share your activity with any credit bureau, so you don’t want to assume that what’s true of one is true of the rest.
💡 If you’re only considering borrowing from one mortgage lender, you may be able to ask which credit report they use and only update that one, which could lessen the price and increase your chances of acceptance.
How to Do a Rapid Rescore
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to do a rapid rescore yourself. You can’t reach out directly to the credit bureaus to ask for one, so it’ll have to be something you do through your lender. If they offer rescore services and agree that you’ll benefit from one, then they can make the request on your behalf.
Here’s how to go about a rapid rescore from start to finish to get the most out of it.
👉 First, review your credit report and determine if there are any inaccuracies. Are there any accounts you’ve paid off or paid down that aren’t reflected there yet? If so, then you can discuss them with your lender to see if updating for those changes would make a dent in your interest rate.
If there are no discrepancies, you’ll need to make some before a rescore would do you any good. The best option is to make significant payments toward your outstanding debt, but don’t spend so much that you’ll struggle to pay closing costs on your loan.
👉 Next, gather documentation of the discrepancies between your credit report and your actual credit history. You may need to provide proof of payment on your end, evidence of receipt from your creditor, or both.
👉 At this point, you can reach out to your mortgage lender and negotiate a rapid rescore. They should be able to tell you if one would save you anything on your interest rate or not. If they tell you that it might help, but they don’t offer rescore services, you can consider working with a different lender.
⚠️ Try to avoid standalone rapid rescore companies and only request a rescore from a lender you trust. Any third party who offers the service is likely a scammer, especially if they ask you to pay for it.
How Long Does a Rapid Rescore Take?
Traditionally, credit score updates take 30 to 45 days. A rapid rescore should process between 3 and 5 business days after the date your lender submits all the necessary information.
Of course, the length may vary, so you’ll have to discuss the specifics with your lender to get a concrete answer for your situation.
Should You Use a Rapid Rescore?
A rapid rescore can be a handy way to boost your credit score when you’re in the middle of negotiating a mortgage agreement, but it’s not going to be the right fit for everyone. It’ll only help you if it fixes enough harmful discrepancies to lower your interest rate.
It’s theoretically possible to execute a rapid rescore and hurt your credit if it turns up a negative item that wasn’t showing before, but it’s unlikely. Your lender would probably just decline your request.
If you’re not in a rush to get a mortgage, you’re probably better off improving your credit score via the slow and methodical way. You can make a much more significant change in your interest rate by solidifying your payment history and reducing your debt for a year than you could by making one lump sum payment.
Your funds are likely to be limited during mortgage closing anyway, and your outstanding balances are only worth 30% of your score. A holistic approach that targets each of your credit score factors will be much more effective.
When in doubt, talk to your mortgage lender and ask for guidance. If you don’t like their answer or still have questions, you can always get a second opinion.