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How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?

How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?; Your credit score reflects information in your credit reports, which are typically updated once a month. Learn why and how your credit scores are updated.
Krystal Etienne
Krystal EtienneUpdated July 9, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Your credit scores update as your credit reports update. Lenders typically report your information to the credit bureaus every 30 to 45 days, and any changes can cause credit score fluctuations. Credit scores differ depending on the scoring model used and the data reported to one or all three major credit bureaus.Let’s shed some light on credit score updates.

What Is My Credit Score?

Your credit score is a three-digit barometer of risk based on your credit history. Lenders use it to determine how well you manage your finances and if you are worth the risk of doing business with. Your credit score helps determine the financing opportunities that you may qualify for as well as the interest rates you may be offered. 

Do I Have One Credit Score?

Because there are numerous scoring models, you actually have dozens of credit scores.Credit scores are based on an algorithm that calculates the many variables in a credit report, but seeing different scores across various websites is typical. Here are the two main reasons why:
  • Incomplete credit reports. When you submit a request for your credit score, the score you’ll receive is based on the information in your credit report at that reporting agency at that time. Most report to credit agencies on a monthly basis, but exactly when and to which agency — Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax — a lender chooses to report to can vary. Different reporting agencies can have different information at different times, resulting in different credit score results. And credit reporting agencies do not share information with each other.
  • Different scoring methods. Credit scores are calculated using a scoring model that analyzes the factors and patterns in a credit report. There are several types of scoring models that analyze data differently, and credit reporting agencies don’t universally use the same one. FICO® and VantageScore® are two of the most widely used scoring models, and each has several versions that any reporting agency can choose to use. FICO even offers industry-specific models, such as the FICO Auto Score or the FICO Bankcard score, that can provide a credit score tailored to the type of credit you’re looking to obtain. 

Which Credit Score Should I Use?

You can use them all. Although credit scores can differ based on the wide variety of scoring models used, they all essentially provide the same assessment of risk that lenders are interested in.The best way to approach your credit score may be to collect a few of them and view them holistically as your personal credit profile. They should all generally fall into a category of excellent, good, fair, or poor. If one or more of your scores varies widely across categories, it may be a good idea to review the credit report it was derived from for any discrepancies or mistakes. 

How Often Is a Credit Score Updated?

Credit scores are usually calculated on demand and reflect whatever information is in one of your credit reports at that time. Lenders generally report information to credit bureaus every 30 to 45 days, but the exact day of the month when they provide updates can vary. Also, it’s not uncommon for lenders to stagger their reporting. A creditor may report a credit change to TransUnion one week but to Equifax or Experian the next week, if the lender also reports to those agencies. 

What Affects My Credit Score?

Credit scoring models generally analyze the same types of data when generating a credit score. When you apply for a personal loan, for example, the score comes into a play. Here are a few areas that affect a score the most. 
  1. Payment history. Your ability to make payments on time factors into your credit score evaluation. Late or missed payments on things such as auto loans that appear on your credit report can pull down your credit score. 
  2. Credit utilization. The amount of credit that you’re using compared with the amount of credit you have available to you is referred to as your credit utilization ratio. Generally speaking, borrowers with ratios of 30% or less are considered lower risk, ultimately earning higher credit scores. Maintaining higher spending ratios can hurt your credit score.
  3. Length of credit history. The age of your accounts matters. Seasoned borrowers who’ve maintained credit lines for a significant number of years generally receive higher marks than those who are still fairly new to managing and maintaining credit. 
  4. Types of credit. Having a variety of credit in good standing is generally seen as a sign of fiscal responsibility. Installment credit, such as personal loans, have set end dates and specific monthly payment amounts. Revolving credit, such as credit cards, allow for repeat borrowing, have no end date, and monthly payment amounts can vary. 
  5. Multiple credit applications. The occasional application for a new credit card or loan isn’t worrisome, but many applications at once can raise red flags. Multiple “hard inquiries” for credit can indicate financial trouble and cause a credit score drop. Then again, FICO and VantageScore count many hard inquiries of the same sort, for a mortgage or auto loan, for example, made during a window of time, 45 or 14 days, respectively, as one.

The Takeaway

Your credit scores update as your credit reports are fed new information from creditors. Generally, lenders update your account information once a month, so a credit score you order up may change every 30 to 45 days. If a new credit card sounds appealing, you can compare cards geared toward your credit rating at Lantern.

About the Author

Krystal Etienne

Krystal Etienne

Krystal Etienne is a seasoned writer, editor, and storyteller with a passion for personal finance. Armed with a master’s degree in publishing from New York University, Krystal develops award-winning content during the day, mentors young adults through life skill development at night, and festival-hops on the weekends. She believes that with enough knowledge and the right tools in place, anyone can be capable of success.
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