How Often do Credit and FICO Scores get Updated From the Credit Bureaus?
Credit reporting bureaus continually update credit reports as they receive information from lenders. Your credit score may change with these updates as lenders add new information to your credit report but also as old information drops off your report. How updates affect your credit score can depend on your overall credit history.
Credit scores are also called FICO scores, a reference to the Fair Isaac Corp., which developed the software and formulas that the three major credit bureaus use to calculate scores. According to Fair Isaac, most lenders report information to credit bureaus once a month. However, each of the three bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — collects its information in a different way, so lenders may report different data to different bureaus at different times.
Be aware that your credit score can update and change not only because new information has been added to your report but also because old information has come off it. For example, the credit bureaus generally remove an “inactive” credit account — that is, a paid-off, closed or canceled account — from your report after 10 years, or earlier if the lender decides to stop reporting the account to the bureau. If that account showed a good payment history, then removing it can hurt your score. Conversely, some negative information, such as late payments, collections and foreclosures, drops off after seven years, which can — Boost Your FICO Score.
Although credit-report information is constantly being updated, Fair Isaac says the typical credit score doesn’t experience much change over time. People with good credit tend to maintain good credit; people struggling with bad credit tend to continue to struggle. Also, the effect of any credit action on a score will depend on your credit history. If you have a long record of making payments on time, a 30 day late payment may not affect your score as much as it would for someone who is chronically late. Within any three-month span, Fair Isaac says, only about 25 percent of people will see a change of 20 points or more in their score, which could be anywhere from 300 to 850.
There’s going to be a lag between the time you take a credit action and the time that action shows up on your report. You could pay off your credit card balance, for example, but it may take as long as a month for your credit report to reflect that fact, depending on when the issuer sends its monthly update to the credit bureaus. If you skip a required payment, such as on a credit card or a mortgage, the lender typically won’t report it until the payment in 30 days late. And depending on when that 30-day mark lands, it could take another month beyond that time for the missed payment to affect your score.
Tags: Bad Credit, Boost Your FICO Score, Collections, Credit Bureaus, Credit Card, Credit Reporting, Credit Scores, Fair Isaac, FICO Scores, Foreclosure, Inactive Credit Account, Missed Payment, Mortgage