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kreditkyle

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How long to wait for changes to reflect in hard inquiry?
I'm going to be applying for an auto loan soon and want my score to be top-notch. If I pay off some debts how long do I need to wait before doing a hard inquiry so the changes are reflected? Once a bill has been paid off, is it reflected instantly on a hard inquiry?

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Don't depend on it.

It can take 30 to 60 days for all the reporting and cross reporting to occur. 

When planning on a loan, you want to pay down as much debt as possible in the 60 to 90 days before applying for a new loan.  Of corse continue paying off as much debt as possible in the 60 days that are left but to guarantee that large payments all get reflected you want as much time as possible to pass. 

Heres a little bit of truth in Credit Scoring,  You have as many as 300 different credit scores. Thats the estimated number of scoring models used in the US today.  The big 4 get all the attention but the reality is that they are not the only source of info on you. i.e.  Some banks do in house credit scores on mortgages and such, Smaller companies and banks may use one of the small credit agencies for lower costs, Etc.  

So basicly, if you want to make the biggest impact on all scoring models, give them time to report and cross report and you have the best chance of getting the most accurate info. 

You can, However, ask most lenders if they will force a hard inquiry. This means that for a fee, the reporting agency will inquire with each of your creditors for current info. Depending on how many creditors you have, this can get expensive. And they won't just update a certain few, Its all or nothing.  

 Hope that helps

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