When and How Often Are My Credit Score and Report Updated?

When and How Often Are My Credit Score and Report Updated?

Written by Kale Havervold
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated August 12, 2021

Credit scores and credit reports are important when it comes to getting a loan. While it’s possible to live life without needing to borrow money, there will likely come a time and place where you will need a loan of some kind. Whether it’s to buy a house, a car, or to cover an emergency expense, a loan can prove to be very beneficial.

One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for getting the best interest rate on your loan is to have a high credit score and an impressive credit report. This will help you save money on each loan you get, as companies and lenders will have proof that you can handle debt and are good at making payments on time.

Credit Score Ranges CanadaWhat Is A Credit Score?

A credit score is a financial instrument lenders use to determine whether you are a creditworthy individual or not. In Canada, credit scores can range from 300-900. The number you have reflects how good or bad your credit profile is. Generally, the higher you score, the less risky of a borrower you’ll seem, and vice versa.

Moreover, the higher your credit score, the better chance you have when it comes to getting approved for a loan, and the better interest rate you will get on that loan. Generally, anything above 650 will qualify you for a standard loan but don’t worry, there are plenty of loan options for people out there with a low score as well. Those with a low credit score can apply with alternative lenders, they often have more lenient requirements than banks. However, it can be more expensive as they typically charge higher rates and fees than banks.

Want to know the minimum credit score required for mortgage approval? Read this.

How Is A Credit Score Calculated?

So, how exactly is your credit score determined? Well, there are a number of different things that go into that magic number you see. Here are the five main factors that affect your credit score:

  • Payment History – Your payment history accounts for around 35% of your credit score and typically has the greatest imapct on your credit score. Paying your bills on-time and in-full are the best ways to create a strong and healthy payment history.
  • Credit Utilization Ratio – This ratio has a significant impact on your credit score as well. It accounts for around 30% of your credit score and refers to the amount of credit you’ve used in relation to how much you have. For example, if you have one credit card with a credit limit of $2000 and have used $1000 of that credit limit, then your credit utilization ratio would be 50%. Generally, the higher your ratio, the more negatively it can impact your credit. Most experts recommend you keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%.
  • Credit Lenght – Your credit lenght refers to the average age of all your active credit accounts. The older your accounts are the more of a positive effect it can have on your credit score.
  • Credit Mix – Adding a variety of different credit products can also have a positive impact on your credit score. Lenders like to see that you are capable of handling different types of debt.
  • Credit Inquiry – When you apply for a credit product most lenders will conduct a hard credit check, which can negatively impact your score.

Basically, your credit score gives lenders a quick and impartial look at the overall health of your credit file and can help them make decisions quicker than flipping through your entire file, page by page.

Trying to figure out why your credit score dropped? Read this.  

What Is A Credit Report?

Essentially, a credit report is a very detailed look at your credit history and at yourself as a borrower. Information is collected by the two Canadian credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax, where all credit reports are created. These reports, in turn, are used by lenders to examine an individual’s creditworthiness.

Click here to find out how you can get a free copy of your credit report.

So, what exactly goes into a credit report? Well, the answer is quite a bit of valuable information. The report includes:

  • Personal Information – This includes your name, address, social insurance number, and employment history.
  • Detailed Summary Of Your Credit HistoryThis includes the number of accounts you have, as well as all the necessary information about those accounts, including their credit limits and their ages. These reports generally only retain negative information for a period of 7 years, so if your report isn’t so good at the moment, it will eventually turn around as long as you pay your bills on time, use your credit wisely and don’t apply for new credit too often.

Read this to learn how long information stays on your credit report.  

How And When Are Credit Scores And Reports Updated?

Normally, you can expect your credit score and credit report to be updated about once a month. Sometimes it can even take days. However, it will depend on the lender and the credit bureau you’re with, as some organizations may operate on a slightly different timeline.

Will a debt consolidation loan look bad on your credit report? Read this.

Generally, your credit score won’t change Credit report and credit scores are usually updated when credit card companies and other lenders report new information (like balances, payments and any new/cancelled credit accounts) to the credit bureaus. Most often, lenders will work with one of the two main Canadian bureaus. These bureaus will then share a borrower’s credit-related information at the request of each lender.

What Does The Credit Score Update Process Look Like?

Generally, every 30 days your creditors will report your credit information to the credit bureaus who will use that information to update your credit report. The change in your credit report will thus cause your credit score to change as well. Your creditors will report information such as:

  • Your payments – Both missed and on-time payments will be reported.
  • Your account balances – Your credit balances in relation to your credit limits will also be reported.
  • Age of your accounts – the period you’ve had your account open will also be reported.
  • Open and closed accounts – your creditor will also report if you closed or opened any new credit accounts. This includes whether you’ve applied to any new credit products, regardless if you were approved or not.

Why Would People Want to Know When/How Often Their Credit Report and Score are Updated?

There are a number of different reasons why someone might want to know how and when a credit score or credit report will change. One of the more common reasons is that they are expecting significant changes to the report or score. For example, if they just paid off their bills completely and have gotten their credit and finances in check. In both cases, the borrower is likely going to see an increase in their score, which will make it easier for them to secure loans. Therefore, they might be interested in finding out when their score updates, so they’ll know when to begin applying for loans again.

Also, some individuals just prefer to keep themselves updated when it comes to their finances in general. While most people don’t obsess over their credit score or report, it is still beneficial to know how often their score is being updated. All of this can give peace of mind to those who often worry about that sort of thing.

Trying to improve your credit? Here’s how you can do just that.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

A credit score is merely a three-digit number that is based on the information on your credit report. Your credit report has detailed descriptions of your relationship with all your credit products. Information from your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. While a credit score can help a lender assess your risk as a borrower, a credit report gives lenders a detailed and thorough look at your credit history. If lenders want to dig deep into your history and ensure that you are a suitable borrower for them to lend money to, they will likely want to take a peek at your full credit report and not just the credit score.

How much does a credit score update impact my credit?

With each update your credit score should gradually change upward if you’re making payments on time, keeping a low credit utilization ratio and overall using your credit responsibly. In general, it takes time and patience to grow your credit score. Of course, certain actions can take us down a peg and cause our credit scores to plummet. Some of the biggest things take can cause your credit score to drop include: late payments, a high credit utilization ratio, a hard inquiry, closing an old credit account, applying for new credit, and having your debt sold to a collection agency. Other things that can significantly cause your credit score to drop is if you file for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.

Do credit scores update when credit reports get updated?

As mentioned, when the credit bureaus get information from your creditors every 30 – 45 days, your credit report will be updated with the new information. As a result, your credit score will be updated as well. However, not all updates will cause your credit score to change.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on both credit scores and credit reports, as these subjects can be quite confusing for some people to wrap their heads around. No matter how bad your credit score or report is, it’s never too late to start making changes for the better. With some time and hard work on your part, before you know it, your score will improve, bringing you closer to the credit products and favorable interest rates you need.  

Rating of 4/5 based on 9 votes.

In his over six-year career as a professional writer, Kale has focused on writing about finance, technology, cryptocurrency, entertainment, and sports. Kale's work has been published on Yahoo, RentHop, the Regina Leader-Post, LoansCanada.ca, and ReboundFinance.com. Kale loves to create a wide variety of personal finance-related content. Including everything from how-to guides to featured articles, to advice pieces and everything in between. Whether he’s writing about the newest piece of technology or providing tips to help people with their finances, Kale is passionate about educating Canadian consumers and making sure they have the information they need to make the best decisions.

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