How often does your credit score update?
September 12, 2023 6 min read
Asking how often your credit score updates is sort of a trick question. First, the answer may be more complicated than you’d think. And second, you actually have more than one credit score. One thing that’s true of them all: They’re based on the information in your credit reports. And your credit scores—like your reports—can change over time. But how often do they change?
Keep reading to learn more about when your credit scores might change and get tips for improving your scores and monitoring your credit.
- Credit scores can update when the three major credit bureaus receive new account information from creditors.
- Lenders typically update account information with bureaus every 30-45 days.
- How much your score can change depends on lots of factors, including who provided the information and the type of credit-scoring model used.
How often do credit scores update?
When and how often your credit scores update is based in part on information in your credit reports. And how often your reports are updated depends on how often the three major credit bureaus—Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®—receive information from lenders.
Lenders usually report updated information every 30-45 days, so it’s possible you might receive an updated credit score each month. But every lender has its own reporting schedule and policies.
What day of the month does your credit score update?
Generally speaking, there is no set date each month when you can expect your credit scores to be updated. It all depends on when your lender sends information to the credit bureaus, when those bureaus update their reports and when credit-scoring companies use those reports to update their scores.
What is rapid rescoring?
There may be situations when you want to speed up the process of getting your credit scores updated. Rapid rescoring is a process lenders might use to have new repayment details added to your credit report.
The process is typically related to mortgages. By doing things like paying down balances on a credit card and having the changes reflected on credit reports, a borrower might improve their eligibility or get access to better loan terms.
Rapid rescoring has to be requested through a lender. Otherwise, you can expect the timeline for a credit score update to be the same as usual, even if you’ve taken steps to pay off debts.
How much can I expect my score to change?
Bear in mind that you have many different credit scores. That’s because credit-scoring companies—like FICO® and VantageScore®—use different mathematical formulas, called credit-scoring models, to calculate credit scores.
Formulas might use information from just one credit report or a combination of different reports. Then, each formula might assign different levels of importance to that information. And each credit-scoring company has several different versions of its credit-scoring models too.
So it can be difficult to predict how—or by how much—your credit scores could change. It’s not possible, for example, to find guaranteed ways to raise your Experian score by 50 points in as little as a month. But in general, your credit scores depend on how you’ve done in the following areas:
- Payment history: Payment history tracks how consistently you’ve made on-time payments. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to make at least the minimum monthly payment on debt to avoid negative marks like late payments, missed payments or charge-offs.
- Existing debt: Credit-scoring models analyze how much total debt you have along with your credit utilization ratio, a measure of how much credit you’re using versus how much you have available.
- Credit age: Your credit age indicates how long you’ve had your credit accounts open. Typically, a longer credit history can have a positive impact on your credit scores.
- Credit mix: Credit mix describes the different types of credit accounts you have. It considers two types of loans: revolving credit, like credit cards or personal lines of credit, and installment loans, like mortgages, student loans and car loans. Generally, using different types of credit responsibly can positively impact your credit scores.
- New credit applications: Credit-scoring models may track how often you apply for and open new credit accounts, which can result in hard inquiries. Hard inquiries can appear on your credit report and may cause your credit scores to drop slightly.
How do I see my most up-to-date credit scores?
There are a few places you can go to view your credit scores, including your credit card issuer, credit bureaus, credit-scoring companies, credit counselors and online tools.
CreditWise from Capital One lets you monitor your TransUnion credit report and daily VantageScore 3.0 credit score for free anytime—without hurting your credit scores. Plus, it’s free for everyone, even if you aren’t a Capital One cardholder.
You can also use the CreditWise Simulator to learn how your score might go up or down if you do things like open a new credit card, pay off a balance or increase your credit limit.
How often should you check your credit report?
Credit reports don’t usually contain credit scores or ratings. But it may still be a good idea to check your credit reports when reviewing your scores.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it’s a good idea to check your credit reports at least once a year. When checking your credit report, the agency recommends looking out for possible errors that could be a sign of identity theft.
How often should you check your credit scores?
You can check your credit scores whenever you like. With free score-checking services, it doesn’t even need to cost you anything. You can use the once-a-year rule, but you may be more comfortable checking more frequently. Since credit reporting agencies tend to report monthly, you could make a monthly routine of it.
And since CreditWise uses soft inquiries, using the tool never affects your scores.
How do I interpret my most recent credit score?
Your credit scores measure your creditworthiness—your ability to pay back what you’ve borrowed. Remember that you could have many different credit scores. So the definition of a good credit score may vary. But according to FICO, credit scores typically fall into the following categories:
- 800 or higher: Exceptional
- 740-799: Very good
- 670-739: Good
- 580-669: Fair
- 580 or lower: Poor
Ways to help maintain and improve your credit scores
Remember: It’s normal for your credit scores to fluctuate a little. And credit scores can change significantly over time. But you can maintain good credit scores and even improve your scores by regularly practicing responsible financial habits.
Here are some ways you can maintain and improve your credit scores:
- Pay your bills on time.
- Stay well below your credit limits.
- Try to pay your credit card balances in full.
- Apply only for the credit you need.
Responsible use of credit cards over time can positively impact your scores. With Capital One’s pre-approval tool, you can see whether you’re pre-approved for card offers without harming your credit scores.
Credit score updates in a nutshell
Your credit scores change based on the information in your credit reports—among other factors. You can’t control how often they update, but how often you check them is up to you.
Over time, monitoring your credit might give you a deeper understanding of the factors influencing your scores. You’ll have a better idea of where you stand financially. And you can use that information to take the next steps toward your financial goals.