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in the US, if one's credit score has only recently improved within a very short time, would one be less likely to be approved than in the case where it had been at the current level for a long time?

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  • Your credit score is already time-weighted. Your current credit score already takes your credit history into account, so no, your prior credit scores don't matter for any practical purpose. – Josh Eller Apr 22 '20 at 14:35
  • time weighing the credit history, i.e. history of missed payments, card usage etc. is different from time weighing your actual credit score. For example, you could have an abysmal credit score for years due to maxing out all credit cards, then one month prior to applying for a mortgage, you pay all cards down and your score will instantly go to excellent. – NingNing Apr 22 '20 at 15:39
  • If you've maxed out all your credit cards, but aren't missing any payments, you'll have a high credit utilization, but everything else about your credit score will be fine. If you pay them off, your utilization rate drops, and your score goes up a bit. If you are missing payments, your score will be affected a lot more, and that history of missed payments will continue to affect your score. Lenders don't care about your prior score because your current score is already an attempt to encapsulate everything lenders care about. – Josh Eller Apr 22 '20 at 15:47
  • That's not true. In fact, they are changing the methodology to FICO 10, which does take past credit scores into account. It's just not clear when it will be implemented. If you think about it, it makes sense. As a lender, why would you be indifferent between someone with a credit score of 750, who had this score for years and someone how had a score of 550 for years and only got to 750 one month ago? – NingNing Apr 22 '20 at 15:57
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    FICO 10 is a method of calculating your current score... Again, your current score does take your credit history into account. There's no added value for a lender to go back and look at your prior scores when they've got your current score, which already factors that information in. Anyway, it seems like you've already made up your mind, so I don't think there's much value in continuing this discussion. – Josh Eller Apr 22 '20 at 16:01
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No.

Lenders care what your credit score is. They don't care what it was in the past. If the bank wants applicants to have a 700 credit score for a particular card, they don't care whether you've had that score for a day, a month, or a decade. They just care what your current score is.

As @NingNing points out in the comments, there are new FICO models coming out that incorporate more historical information about balances and payments into calculating your credit score. But banks will still just care about the current score not your score from last year.

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Credit history can have a substantial impact on your odds of getting approved for a credit card.

Improved credit history doesn't guarantee you'll be approved, and previous poor credit history doesn't guarantee you'll be denied.

Understanding what range your score falls in can help you narrow the options as you decide which cards to apply for.

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YES! They do matter. Asking yourself, "Why does my credit score matter?" For a lot of reasons, some of which you may not even be familiar with. A credit score is a way of distilling your relationship with debt down into a 3 digit number. It is used to evaluate your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to pay back the debt.

Whereas

A Credit History is a record of your debts, payment history, and public records. Simply put, the length of your credit history is how long you've used credit. The length of your credit history, or how long you've been using credit, typically accounts for 15% of your total credit score.

I hope I have answered your question as simply as possible.

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    This doesn't address the question. The question was whether the history of one's credit score affects their ability to obtain credit – Daniel Aug 31 '20 at 9:07

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