How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably want to improve your credit score, especially if you want to apply for a new credit card or make a major purchase, such as buying a car or buying a home. Your credit score can change daily even though no changes have been made to your credit file. So, how often does your credit score update? We will discuss why your credit score may seem to keep changing and what factors cause your credit score to update.

How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?

Your credit score updates as often as the lenders you have accounts with report to credit reporting agencies, such as Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Typically, lenders report your payment activity or lack thereof to the credit reporting agencies every 30 to 45 days, however, the exact amount of time it takes a lender to report your payment activity differs from lender to lender, so it’s hard to predict exactly when your credit score will be updated.

Also, some creditors and lenders only report to one or two of the credit reporting agencies, so not all three credit scores will change simultaneously. Furthermore, it is uncommon for a single creditor to report to all three credit reporting agencies. Usually, a credit often reports to only one or two credit reporting agencies. So, don’t expect your credit score to be updated by all three bureaus.

That said, if you apply for a credit card, car loan, home loan, or any type of credit, your credit score will be updated immediately as an inquiry will immediately be placed on your account, impacting your credit score. That said, credit scores are always changing, you might check your score on two consecutive days and see that there is a slight difference in your score even though nothing has changed on your credit report. You should not worry too much if you see small variations to your credit score as this is totally normal.

If you worried about how often your credit score updates, you shouldn’t worry too much as long as you’re making timely payments on your accounts and you’re keeping your credit utilization below the 30% threshold.

What Causes Your Credit Score to Change?

Here are some of the leading factors that can lead to your credit score changing:

  • Making or failing to make payments on your credit cards, car loans, student loans, and home loan
  • Whether you’ve paid down your balances or increased the balances on your credit cards
  • The total outstanding debt that you have on all of your accounts has either increased or decreased
  • Whether you have applied for a recent auto loan, home loan, or line of credit
  • Whether you have recently opened new credit cards or loans
  • Whether you have increased or decreased the mix of credit accounts or loan types that you have

How Long Does It Take the Credit Bureaus to Update Your Credit Score?

Credit bureaus often report updates they gets from lenders and creditors almost instantaneously.  As soon as they receive new and updated information, you will see that information reflected on your credit report. Upon receiving new information, the credit reporting agencies will recalculate your credit score and update it immediately. That said, if you have been making timely payments on your account for the past two years, and your bank reports that you made one additional timely payment, this update is unlikely to make a big difference in your credit score.

However, if you apply for a new credit card, which always results in a hard inquiry being placed on your credit report, you will likely see an immediate small drop (5 to 7 points) on your credit report. The same goes if you miss a payment on your credit card. Missing a payment can cause a significant drop in your credit score as soon as the bank reports your missed payment to the credit reporting agencies.

How Does Your Credit Score Work?

Credit card companies, lenders, and creditors typically report the status of your accounts to credit bureaus, such as Experian, Equifax, and Transunion once a month. The information that they report includes whether you’ve made a timely payment on your account, the amount by which you reduced your debt, as well as the credit limit of your account. As soon as the credit reporting bureaus receive this information, they will update your credit score and credit report. That said, it is difficult to predict when a bank or creditor will report this information as this information varies from one creditor to another. So, if you were wondering how often does your credit score update? The answers depends on when the creditor or lender sends the status of your account to the credit reporting bureaus, which differs from bank to bank.

How to Improve Your Credit Score?

If you want to improve your credit score, you should not worry about the daily fluctuations of your score and instead worry about improving your credit score in the long term. Here are some things that you can do to improve your credit score:

  • Make Timely Payments – Making timely payments on your credit cards and loans is the single most important thing that you can to improve your credit score, accounting for 35% of your credit score. So, make sure that you pay your credit cards on time and make timely payments on loans, such as your auto loan, student loan, and home loan. Making timely payments on your accounts is extremely important because it shows lenders that you’re reliable, meaning you only borrow what you can afford to pay back, which is the entire reason that we have credit scores to begin with. So, always make timely payments and you should see your credit score improve.
  • Keep Low Balances – The second most important thing you can do to improve your credit score is to pay down balances on your accounts. So, if you have a credit card that has a high balance, try to pay down that balance because this decreases your credit utilization. Having low credit utilization shows lenders that you’re not relying heavily on credit, indicating that you’re not in a financial crunch and you can therefore afford to pay down your debts. Lenders like to see a person’s credit utilization below 30%, so always try to keep your credit utilization below this threshold.
  • Don’t Apply for Too Many New Accounts – If you’re trying to improve your credit score, don’t apply for too many new credit accounts because too many applications within a short period of time will cause a significant drop in your credit score. Only apply for accounts that you need. Not only will your credit score drop because of the hard inquiries that will be placed on your account, but opening too many new accounts may lead to accumulate a lot of debt, lowering your credit score.
  • Keep Old Accounts Open – If you have old accounts, don’t close them, especially if they don’t cost you anything. This is so because closing old accounts reduces the average account age of all of your accounts, decreasing your credit score. Also, closing an account reduces your available credit, which may increase your credit utilization. So, if you have an old account, don’t close it as it may cause your credit score to drop.

How Fast Can You Raise Your Credit Score?

The answer to this question will vary from one person to another. For example, a person who has a very low credit score and begins making timely payments on his credit accounts will probably notice a significant improvement to his or her credit score. However, a person who has a high credit score will unlikely notice an improvement to his credit score simply by making timely payments on his account. So, to raise your credit score as fast as possible, you should make timely payments on your account and keep your credit utilization below 30% on every single card that you have. After making timely payments on your account, you should wait for your creditor or lender to report the changes to the credit reporting bureaus. Upon reporting the status of your account, your credit score will be updated by the credit reporting agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What day of the month does your credit score update? / How often does your FICO score update?

Your credit score can be updated several times per day. The answer to this question depends on when your creditor or lender reports changes on your account to the credit reporting bureaus. Usually, creditors and lenders send updates on a monthly basis on different days, so it is hard to exactly when your credit score updates.

2) How accurate is Credit Karma?

Most lenders prefer to look at a person FICO scoring model. However, Credit Karma uses a different scoring model known as the Vantage 3.0 scoring model. That said Credit Karma is very accurate at calculating a person’s credit score.

3) How long does it take for a credit score to go up after paying off debt?

The amount of time it takes for your credit score to go up after paying off debt depends mainly on two things. Whether your credit score is low or high and when your creditor or lender reports the changes to the credit reporting agencies. If you have a high credit score, you will likely see no change to your credit score. However, if you have a low credit score, paying off your debt may significantly increase your credit score. That said, once your pay off your debt, you should wait 30 to 40 days for your lender or creditor to report the changes to the credit reporting bureaus.

4) What is a good FICO score?

A good FICO score ranges from a 670 to 739.

5) How often does Experian update your credit score?

Experian updates your credit score as soon as new information is available on your credit file. Updates are sent to Experian on a monthly basis. Your credit score could change multiple times per day depending on when Experian gets updates from lenders and creditors.

6) How often does Transunion update your credit score?

Transunion updates your credit score whenever a lender or creditor reports the status of your accounts. Lenders and creditors often report on a monthly basis, however, the exact date varies, making answering this question difficult.