How Often are Credit Scores Updated?

Information is incredibly dynamic these days, financial information in particular. The availability to access information quickly and input new information into existing repositories, lends itself to a fluid data exchange that changes dynamically. However, given the dynamic nature of information, it’s hard to pinpoint when changes to data, such as your credit score, will change.

Credit bureaus information is completely dependent upon a large number of different creditors, all who report data at various intervals and at different times of the month, depending on when they process your credit information. Creditors aren’t even obligated to inform the credit bureaus of these changes if they don’t want to, which is great if you’ve missed a bill or two, but not so great if you’ve been a glowing customer.

Our credit bureaus are operating these days in much the same way, where new available information that comes up is automatically ingested into the credit assessment algorithm and reported to inquiring consumers. Some other types of information that is more routine and systematic, updates on a monthly basis.

 

Types of information updated on credit reports

Dynamic Information

For dynamically obtained information like consumer initiated credit line requests, bureaus update credit scores almost instantaneously, or at least daily most of the time. As soon as anyone makes a credit request for a potential borrower, one of the three credit bureaus runs its credit evaluation mechanism, incorporating instantly any new information about a consumer’s finances that’s been reported by one of it’s suppliers. For example, if you apply for a credit card today, you can see that application transaction reflected in your credit report tomorrow.

What’s unique about this situation is that all three of the major credit bureaus, Equifax, Transunion, and Experian do not necessarily communicate with each other. So some updates may make it to one bureau and not the other. Or if one creditor pulls a report from Equifax, another creditor who pulls from one of the other bureaus will not see that the first one pulled a report at all. Other than that hiccup, all data that comes in to any one bureau is updated as it comes in, usually daily.

Recurring Information

There are segments of credit information profiles that are reported on a systematic basis, usually monthly. This is most often seen in the areas of credit lines where monthly payments are made. Information regarding missed or delinquent payments will be sent to the bureau at the time the monthly billing cycle came around for that particular individual. Other information reported in a more systematic, scheduled way include changes to personal information such as address and telephone number.

From a consumer’s point of view, knowing this little fact about monthly reporting will help someone who is trying to save time applying for a line of credit, especially for major purchases. If you have just recently paid off large balances on cards in hopes of qualifying for a better auto loan rate, then it’s best to apply for the loan after your credit card billing cycle has ended, and you can be sure the information has been sent and processed by the bureaus.

Public Information

Public information such as a civic matter, a bankruptcy, or a tax lien placed against you, will show up on your credit anywhere from a week to months after. Once it makes its way on there, it can remain for a very long time, even up to 10 years.

Negative Reporting

Derogatory information doesn’t stay on your credit report forever, but it does take a while to fall off of the radar. Negative information such as delinquent payments, foreclosures, and bankruptcies all expire on the 7th year anniversary of the original date of delinquency.

 

Mistakes and Discrepancies

Credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate information you send in to dispute any negative information found in your credit report. If you send in new information in the process, then the length of time the bureau has to complete your investigation is extended. Once this period is over, however, if changes or corrections have been made they will immediately be reflected on your report.

Updates That Don’t Affect Credit Scores

It’s quite routine for existing creditors to pull your credit report for systematic reviews. Also, potential creditors may pull your report to consider whether or not to pre-approve you for an offer you did not solicit. In these and similar instances, no change to your credit score is made, even though your report will reflect the activity initiated by these creditors. Since it wasn’t initiated by you, it cannot hurt you.

The best way to see if the actions you’re taking to improve your credit are working is by purchasing a credit monitoring service that can update you in real time of changes and activity to your credit. This way you aren’t left in the dark wondering if the measures

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