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For those consumers who are working toward improving their credit or are building a credit history from the ground up, you may be wondering, how often do your credit scores get updated? 

How And When Are Credit Scores And Reports Updated?

Normally, you can expect your credit scores and credit reports to be updated about once every 30 to 45 days. However, this depends on a number of factors. Not all lenders and creditors report to the credit bureaus at the same time each month, so this will affect how your credit scores fluctuate. Furthermore, the credit bureau or company that you check your credit with will also affect what credit score you see. Not all lenders and creditors report their data to both credit bureaus, so if you check your credit with Equifax and then TransUnion, you may see two completely different scores or one of those scores may fluctuate more frequently than the other.

What Does The Credit Score Update Process Look Like?

Creditors and lenders provide new information to the credit bureaus on a consistent basis (sometimes once a month, but this depends on the lender). This new information is used to update your credit reports. Your credit scores are then calculated based on the information in your credit reports. A change in your credit reports will thus cause your credit scores to change as well. 

Why Do Credit Scores Fluctuate?

It’s completely normal for credit scores to change, but you might be wondering what makes your scores fluctuate? These are a few of the main reasons why you might see your credit scores change.

When New Information Is Reported To The Credit Bureaus

When new information is reported to the two credit bureaus, the information in your credit reports is updated. This can make your credit scores fluctuate. Some of the information reported to the bureaus that may affect your credit is:

  • When you open a new account (credit card, personal loan, car loan, etc.)
  • When you close an old account
  • When you pay down debt
  • Make a payment on an account (or miss making a payment)

If Your Credit Card Balances Fluctuate

How much credit you use compared to your available limit may also cause your credit scores to fluctuate. If your credit card balance changes on a monthly basis, you may see a change in your scores because of this. 

The Different Scoring Models

There are several different credit scoring models used to calculate your credit scores, this means that the score one lender sees may be different than the score you see when you check your own credit. 

The Passing Of Time

The effect that certain information has on your credit scores can diminish as time passes. This means that your credit scores may fluctuate because a late payment or account in collections no longer carries as much weight in the calculation of your scores.

Find out how long credit information stays on your credit report.

The Two Canadian Credit Bureaus

There are two Canadian credit reporting bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. Each has its own algorithm for calculating your credit scores. This means that if you check your credit score with each bureau, they will likely be different. Furthermore, not all lenders and creditors report to both bureaus, so your Equifax score may fluctuate more frequently than your TransUnion score or vice versa. 

Why Do Canadians Want To Know How Often Their Credit Report And Scores Are Updated?

There are a number of different reasons why Canadians want to know how often their credit report and scores are updated. One of the more common reasons is that they are expecting significant changes to their credit reports which in turn may affect their credit scores. 

For example, if someone with bad credit has been paying their bills on time, reducing their debt levels, and has overall been actively using credit responsibility, there’s a possibility that it will positively impact their credit scores. Understanding how often their credit is updated will allow them to better track the changes in their report and scores. Moreover, if they plan on applying for a loan, they might be interested in finding out when their credit report updates, so they can apply for the loan after their report has been updated.

Learn how to improve your credit scores.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Credit scores are a three-digit number that is based on the information on your credit report. Your credit scores help lenders assess your likelihood of paying your debts on time. On the other hand, your credit report is a file that has detailed descriptions of your relationship with all your credit products. Lenders will often check your credit report if they want a detailed and thorough look at your credit history to help them determine if you’re a creditworthy borrower. 

How much does each update affect my credit report and credit scores? 

The effect each update will have on your credit report and scores depends on the information being reported. Generally, positive information such as on-time payments may help improve your credit scores while missed payments and derogatory information like debt sold to a collection agency may cause it to go down. However, it’s important to remember that not all information reported will always impact your credit scores and everyone’s scores react differently.

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 scores will be updated as well. However, not all updates will cause your credit scores to change.

Are soft inquiries reported to the credit bureaus? 

While soft inquiries do not affect your credit scores, they do show up on your credit report. However, this information is only visible to you and not other lenders or creditors.

Bottom Line

Credit scores fluctuate with the information reported on your credit report. However, the degree by which it changes depends heavily on the credit scoring model being used and the type of information being reported. While every update may not change your credit scores, it’s still important to keep tabs on your credit report to ensure the information being reported is accurate

Caitlin Wood, BA avatar on Loans Canada
Caitlin Wood, BA

Caitlin Wood is the Editor-in-Chief at Loans Canada and specializes in personal finance. She is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. Caitlin has covered various subjects such as debt, credit, and loans. Her work has been published on Zoocasa, GoDaddy, and deBanked. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security.

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