Your credit score is a constantly-changing number that reflects your creditworthiness. It’s something that lenders, landlords, insurers, and even some employers consider when making decisions about extending credit or services to you. But how often does your credit score update, and what impacts it?
How often does your credit score update?
Credit scores don’t update daily, but they aren’t static, either. How often a credit score updates varies, based on several things:
1. Creditor reporting
Lenders and creditors typically report your account activity to the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) on a monthly basis. This means that your credit report, which forms the basis for your credit score, is usually updated once a month for each account.
2. Payment history
Your payment history, including whether you pay bills on time or have late payments, is one of the most critical factors affecting your credit score. Any changes in your payment behavior will be reflected in your credit score the next time that creditor reports to the credit bureaus.
3. Credit utilization
The amount of credit you’re using compared to your credit limit, known as credit utilization, also plays a significant role in your credit score. This can change every month as you make credit card payments or carry balances from one billing cycle to the next.
4. New credit inquiries
When you apply for new credit, such as a credit card or loan, the lender will request a copy of your credit report as part of the application process. This results in a “hard inquiry” on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score. These inquiries are typically updated immediately.
5. Public records
Information related to public records like bankruptcies, tax liens, and civil judgments can have a big impact on your credit score. These records are reported as they occur.
6. Other account changes
Other changes to your credit accounts, such as closing or opening accounts, changing credit limits, or updating personal information, can also influence your credit score.
While your credit score updates periodically, you can monitor it more frequently if desired. Many banks and credit card issuers now provide free access to your credit score through their mobile apps or online banking platforms. Additionally, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com, which allows you to review your credit history and check for errors.
For keeping an even sharper eye on your credit, a Brigit subscription includes credit monitoring, along with a whole lot of other credit tools and benefits!
How to improve your credit score
If you’re actively working to improve your credit score, here are some strategies to consider.
1. Pay your bills on time
Consistently making on-time payments is one of the most effective ways to boost your credit score.
2. Reduce credit card balances
Lower your credit card balances to improve your credit utilization ratio.
3. Avoid opening too many new accounts
Multiple new credit inquiries within a short period can lower your score.
4. Check your credit report
Regularly review your credit report for errors and make sure you dispute any incorrect information.
5. Maintain a mix of credit
Having a mix of credit types, such as credit cards and installment loans, can positively impact your credit score.
The bottom line: how often does your credit score update
Your credit score is not updated daily, but on a monthly basis as creditors report their account information to the major credit bureaus. It’s important to monitor your credit score regularly and take steps to improve it over time if needed. Responsible financial habits, like paying bills on time and managing credit card balances, can lead to a higher credit score and better financial opportunities.