If you’re actively trying to improve your credit score, you’ll find that the process is a slow, arduous one.
Credit score updates aren’t automatic, but a lot can change in as little as a month. Progress may be slow at first, but if you continue to try and increase your scores, you’ll find that within a few months, your score can rise substantially.
How Long Does It Take for Credit Scores to Update?
Credit scores rely on your credit reports, or the detailed credit history that you have. Lenders will report your information each month, so that’s why it’s a month-to-month process when checking your score.
And there are also three main credit bureaus:
Lenders may report to one or all of the bureaus, so your score may vary drastically from one bureau to the next. Major lenders, such as your traditional bank or credit card company, will report to all three bureaus in most cases.
Experian update times, as explained by the bureau, are each time the score is calculated. For example, the bureau will calculate your score when a credit report is pulled. So, if the bureau has received new information since your last score was calculated, the score will be updated.
The score may be lower, higher or the same – it all depends.
When Do Credit Card Companies Report to Credit Bureaus?
Creditors will report to credit bureaus on a monthly basis, so it’s often best to wait a month between checking your credit score. The month allows for lenders to send in information to the bureau, and it also allows for other bureaus to update their information if it wasn’t sent to them first.
How often do credit bureaus update?
Typically, on a monthly basis. Creditors will report:
- Balance updates on credit cards and loans
- Credit inquiries
- Account status
- Payment timeliness
- Activity on your report
- New accounts
Major fluctuations in your score can occur, and this is often due to:
- Delinquent payments. If you’re failing to pay your bills, this can cause a major drop in your credit score. A 30-day delinquency will cause the first major drop in your credit score, and the longer you remain delinquent, the lower your score will go.
- Credit debt load. If your debt levels go up or down quickly, this will have an impact on your credit score. Credit utilization is also important, so if you have paid off $10,000 in debt, you may have your score spike. There are also utilization issues when debt spikes, causing your utilization to rise and score to
Bad marks on your credit report can remain for seven years, so they will have a lasting impact on your score. For example, if you failed to pay a credit card bill for nine months and then satisfied the bill, the late payments will remain on your account.
Yes, it’s better to pay the debt and be caught back up on payments, but the late payments will remain on your report for seven years showing that you have slightly more risk as a borrower.
Building credit takes time, and while scores are updated each time they’re requested, this doesn’t mean a drastic change will occur. Chase may update your information at 3:00 PM on December 31, but if you pulled your report at 1:00 PM on December 31, the change will not be reflected.
This is why it’s best to wait a month or so between pulling reports to allow for significant changes to take place.
So, while updates can happen to your report quickly, it’s all dependent on when payment history and other information is submitted to the bureau, and this is often on a monthly basis.
Some lenders may report less often, so it can take even longer for a score to reflect a major payment or debt.