There’s no single formula for how often a credit score updates. Your score can change within days or hours as new data is reported to the credit bureaus. The three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion receive data from lenders on different days throughout the month.
Your credit report—and credit score—is constantly being updated by new data, such as account balances or late payments.
Our guide will explain the process behind updating credit scores and how quickly you can expect to see changes.
When Do Creditors Report Information to the Credit Bureaus?
Your account information is typically updated every 30 – 45 days, but creditors report data on their own schedule throughout this time period. Since most people have more than one credit account, this means their credit score is constantly fluctuating.
Creditors are not obligated to update your account with the credit bureaus. Major creditors may only report to one or two credit bureaus while others may not report your loan activity at all.
When Do Credit Scores Change?
Your credit report is updated when credit bureaus recieve information from your creditors and lenders. Since each creditor has different due dates and billing cycles, any changes to your credit score usually take around a month to appear.
A rapid rescore is a service offered by some lenders. If you recently paid down a balance or were successful in removing a negative entry on your credit report, the lender can ask one or more credit bureaus to recalculate your score. This will result in an updated score within a few days, instead of a month.
Items That Make a Big Impact on Your Credit Report
If you’re working to improve your credit report, any significant change can feel very slow. On the other hand, there are certain items that can have a big effect on your score.
- Late payments: Payment history is an important factor in your credit score. If a creditor reports that you’re more than 30 days late, you may see your score drop. A payment that is reported 60 or 90 days late could cause your score to drop even lower. The further you fall behind on your account, the greater the impact it will have on your score.
Credit utilization: Updates provided by creditors typically include balance updates critical to the FICO® credit scoring model. If you make a large purchase or get close to reaching your credit limit, it will increase your credit utilization and, in turn, lower your FICO® score.
The reverse is also true. If you pay down your credit card balances or open a new account to increase your available credit, it will lower your credit utilization and raise your credit score.
- Credit age: Credit age refers to the age of your credit accounts. Long credit ages have a positive effect on your credit score (if you have a positive history) because it demonstrates your ability to successfully manage your credit.
- New credit: Applying for new credit accounts results in hard inquiries on your account. Having too many hard inquiries on your account makes you appear risky and is a red flag for lenders.
- A mix of credit: Having a mix of credit accounts positively influences your credit score. Credit accounts include credit cards, car loans, student loans and more.
A sudden, unexplained drop in your credit score could be a sign of identity theft, so it’s a good idea to regularly monitor your score.
Keeping Your Credit Report Accurate
It’s important to know why and how often your credit score updates so you can keep tabs on changes in your credit score. Mistakes sometimes happen when a creditor or the credit bureau updates your account.
Even a single reported late payment could affect your credit score and increase your interest rates on future loans or a new credit card. A missed payment can stay on your credit history for seven years. A credit report consultation can help you identify negative items on your credit report that are filed in error and remove them from your report.