How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?
Your credit scores can update whenever the information in your credit reports changes
Your credit scores are 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?
The short answer: It depends. Read on to learn about when your credit scores might change and to get tips for improving your scores and monitoring your credit.
When Do Your Credit Scores Get Updated?
Since your credit scores are based on the information in your credit reports, your scores can be updated whenever your reports are updated. And how often your reports are updated might depend on how often the three major credit bureaus—Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®—receive information from lenders.
Every lender has its own schedule for reporting information to the credit bureaus. And lenders typically don’t report information to each of the credit bureaus at the same time. But information is typically reported every 30 to 45 days. And your scores could change every time new information—like new accounts or changes to your account balances—is reported by a lender and reflected in your credit reports.
Because every lender has its own reporting schedule and policies, your credit scores can change often—even multiple times a day. It’s normal for your scores to fluctuate a little.
And keep in mind that you have many different credit scores. That’s because there are many credit-scoring models—mathematical formulas used to calculate credit scores. And each formula is a little different. Formulas can 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.
Credit-scoring companies like FICO® and VantageScore® even have multiple credit-scoring models and scores of their own.
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. Your payment history is an important factor when it comes to your credit scores. So catching up on any missed and late payments—including late credit card payments—can be an important step in improving your credit. You could consider setting up automatic payments to help you make payments on time. Many companies even offer email and text alerts you can sign up for.
- Stay well below your credit limits. Experts recommend using no more than 30% of your available credit. That’s because, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains, “Credit scoring models look at how close you are to being ‘maxed out.’” The closer you are to being maxed out, the worse it can be for your credit scores.
- Try to pay your balances in full. According to the CFPB, you should always try to pay as much of your full credit card balance as possible. Paying off your balance every billing cycle can help you stay well below your credit limits and keep your credit utilization ratio down. As the CFPB explains, “You don’t need to revolve on credit cards to get a good score. Paying off the balance each month helps get you the best scores.”
- Apply only for the credit you need. Try to apply for credit only when you truly need it. Why? “If you apply for a lot of credit over a short period of time, it may appear to lenders that your economic circumstances have changed negatively,” the CFPB explains.
Speaking of applying for credit: Want a better idea of whether you might be approved? Pre-approval or pre-qualification can help you find out whether you might be eligible for a credit card or a loan before you even apply.
With Capital One’s pre-approval tool, for example, you can find out whether you’re pre-approved for some of Capital One’s credit cards before you submit an application. It’s quick and only requires some basic information. And checking to see whether you’re pre-approved won’t impact your credit scores, since it requires only a soft inquiry.
Monitor Your Credit for Free With CreditWise From Capital One
Whether you’re trying to maintain your credit or improve your credit scores, it’s important to monitor your credit regularly. Why? Because monitoring your credit can help you see exactly where you stand—and how much progress you’ve made.
CreditWise from Capital One is one way you can monitor your credit. With CreditWise, you can access your free TransUnion credit report and weekly VantageScore 3.0 credit score anytime—without hurting your score. And with the CreditWise Simulator, you can explore the potential impact of your financial decisions before you even make them.
CreditWise is free and available to everyone—even if you’re not a Capital One cardholder.
You can also get free copies of your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus. Call 877-322-8228 or visit AnnualCreditReport.com to learn more. Keep in mind that there may be a limit on how often you can get your reports. You can check the site for more details.
Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.
We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.
Your CreditWise score is calculated using the TransUnion® VantageScore® 3.0 model, which is one of many credit scoring models. It may not be the same model your lender uses, but it can be one accurate measure of your credit health. The availability of the CreditWise tool depends on our ability to obtain your credit history from TransUnion. Some monitoring and alerts may not be available to you if the information you enter at enrollment does not match the information in your credit file at (or you do not have a file at) one or more consumer reporting agencies.
The CreditWise Simulator provides an estimate of your score change and does not guarantee how your score may change.