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How Often Does Credit Score Update?

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Credit scores frequently fluctuate as updates are made by the three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Typically, your credit score updates at least once a month, depending on when your credit reports are refreshed. 

More frequent updates can occur if lenders provide new information more often. Read on to learn more about how credit scores change and tips for improving your score.

Credit Scores and Credit Reports

Credit scores and credit reports are distinct but related. 

A credit score is a three-digit number that indicates your creditworthiness, calculated using data from your credit report. In contrast, a credit report is a detailed record of your credit history, including payment history, credit card balances, debt, new accounts, and inquiries. 

While credit scores are derived from credit reports, they do not update as frequently.

How Often is Credit Score Updated?

Credit bureaus typically update credit reports at least once a month as lenders report new information. The frequency of these updates can increase with more frequent banking activities. 

The credit score update cycle may take up to 45 days.

Factors Affecting Credit Score Updates

Credit score updates depend on several factors.

Specific Bureaus Each Lender Reports To

Lenders may report to one, two, or all three bureaus, leading to different update frequencies for each bureau. For example, if a lender reports to Experian and Equifax but not TransUnion, only the scores from Experian and Equifax will change.

Credit Scoring Models

The frequency of updates can vary based on the credit scoring model used. The two most prominent models are FICO and VantageScore. While they use the same data, their different algorithms can result in varying update times.

How Often Do Lenders Report to Credit Bureaus

Most lenders report their activity to the credit bureaus monthly. For example, if you make a credit card payment, this update will typically reflect within the month. However, some activities, such as paying off a large balance, can be reported more quickly. 

Updates can also occur more frequently if you actively use multiple credit accounts. Opening or closing accounts and significant changes in your credit utilization rate can prompt earlier updates.

How to Check and Calculate Credit Scores for Free

You can check your credit score for free through various sources, but some functionality may be limited for free users.

Credit Card Issuers

Most credit card companies offer free credit score checks to their clients. Discover, Chase, and Capital One offer free access to your credit rating through their online websites and mobile apps.

Credit Bureau

Three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — offer a free annual credit score check, but additional checks may charge a fee. Credit Karma can provide free access to your credit score and report from more than one bureau all in one request. The services often come with score-tracking tools that help you understand the factors that affect your rating, as well as provide tips to improve it.

FICO vs. VantageScore

Know the difference between the FICO score and VantageScore. Both are used widely, and they can present your score to you differently. Know which one your lender uses to get the best view of your credit health. A lender looking at FICO can see a different score than one looking at VantageScore, even though both are based on the same credit report data.

When to Expect Credit Score Changes

Credit scores fluctuate in a positive or a negative way due to many factors. Here are the main reasons.

Late or Missed Payments

Missed or late payments are signals of your irresponsible debt management. They are reported to credit bureaus, and as a result — your score will likely drop. The severity of the impact depends on how late the payment is and your current credit rating.

Credit Utilization Rate

Changes in your credit utilization ratio — the amount of credit you use against your overall credit limit — can also affect your score. Paying down debt or running up high balances can result in your score updating. Most systems for credit scoring would advocate for keeping your utilization ratio under 30% as the best way to maintain a good credit health.

Fresh Credit Inquiries

In most cases, applying for new credit results in a hard inquiry (also called “hard credit check”). This information is shown on your credit report and may cause a temporary drop in your score.

Multiple inquiries within a short period may have a much more negative impact on your credit score. Some scoring models recognize that rate shopping for loans often involves multiple inquiries and consider them as a single inquiry.

Opening or Closing Accounts

Opening a new credit account or closing one may affect your credit utilization and length of credit. This change will usually be reported rapidly — you will see it in your next scoring update. From the perspective of credit agencies, opening a new account increases your available credit and, therefore, can lower your utilization rate. Conversely, doing the opposite — closing an account — will have an adverse effect.

Other Factors

Other factors that would likely cause a variation in credit scores are:

  • Significant changes in your income;
  • Changes in your employment status;
  • New public records such as bankruptcies, collections, or tax liens.

All of these events can affect the information in your report and cause your score to be updated.

How Long Does It Take for a Credit Score to Change?

The specific time a credit score takes to change will depend on the nature of the activity reported and the reporting cycle of your lenders. For the most part, positive activities — such as on-time payments or reducing debt — can result in a slow increase over time. It may take several months before producing the desired score. Harmful activities — such as a missed payment — can result in an immediate drop in the score.

Immediate Changes

Some activities, like paying down a significant portion of a debt or resolving a wrong item on your credit report, may change your credit score almost overnight. Those changes usually reflect in your next credit report update and can quickly boost your score.

Gradual Changes

Most changes in your credit score are slow and take place over time. Regular on-time repayments, reducing your credit exposures, and also avoiding a new credit inquiry will cause a gradual change to your score. All you need to do is be patient and persistent in improving your credit health.


Your credit score updates at least once a month based on lender reports to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The frequency of updates depends on the timing of these reports and the type of credit activity. Consistent and responsible credit use, along with patience, are key to improving your credit health.


Do Credit Cards Affect My Credit Score?

Yes, credit card issuers report your payment history, credit usage, and account status to the credit bureaus. This information is crucial for calculating your credit score. Paying on time and maintaining low balances can enhance your credit rating.

Is There an Impact of Paying Off Debt on Credit Score Update?

For sure, it has a positive impact. Once a credit bureau gets information from a lender, your credit reports and credit scores may update immediately. To maintain your credit history length, it’s best to keep your credit card account active.

How Often Does Credit Score Update?

Your credit score updates when new data is added to your credit report. When creditors send this information to the credit bureaus, agencies recalculate your score. The timing varies based on the creditor’s schedule and the bureau’s processing time.

What Day of the Month Does Your Credit Score Update?

You can’t know for sure what day your credit scores will change. It depends on when lenders send information to the credit bureaus.

Learn more:

  1. Different Types of Personal Loans
  2. How Do Personal Loans Affect Credit Score
  3. Are Personal Loans Taxable?

External sources:

  1. https://www.equifax.com/
  2. https://www.experian.com/
  3. https://www.transunion.com/
  4. https://www.myfico.com/
  5. https://www.vantagescore.com/
  6. https://www.usa.gov/credit-reports
  7. https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/free-credit-reports
  8. https://www.federalreserve.gov/creditreports/pdf/credit_reports_scores_2.pdf