Credit reports are the foundations on which credit scores are measured. Even though there are multiple credit scoring companies (and multiple formulas for each type of score), where your scores land depends on information from your credit reports.
Because of this, anyone looking to apply for credit might take a sudden interest in their credit reports to ensure that they’re being scored on accurate information. But how up to date are these reports, really? Let’s find out.
How Often Does My Credit Report Update?
Before diving into this question, it’s important to understand the difference between a credit report and a credit score, as well as where all this information is coming from.
Credit Reporting Facts You Need to Know
There are a few factors that play into the updating of your credit report. Consider the following:
- Credit reporting bureaus don’t go out to find information about you to put on your credit report. Instead, data furnishers provide credit bureaus with this information.
- Data furnishers can include lenders such as the financial institution you have a credit card or mortgage with, as well as other companies you owe payments to, such as a utilities or cell phone company.
- There are three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). However, data furnishers don’t have to report to all of them. Therefore, your credit reports from each bureau might not be identical.
- Your credit scores are shown as the most updated version anytime they’re pulled — whether you pull your score or a lender does. Your credit scores will be reflective of whatever your credit report shows at that time.
- Although your credit report informs your credit score, your credit report doesn’t list your credit score on it. Credit reporting bureaus and credit scoring companies (such as FICO® and VantageScore®) are separate entities.
Now that these basic facts have been covered, let’s talk about how your credit reports get updated.
How and When Credit Reports Get Updated
The process in which credit reports get updated is fairly straightforward. The financial institutions (a.k.a. data furnishers) with whom you have accounts send information about your account status to the credit reporting bureau of their choosing. This information can include your balance, your payment history, and more.
Typically, data furnishers send updates once a month. However, they can decide how often to do so, which means that these updates could be sent more or less than that. Once the credit reporting bureau receives this new information, they work to update your credit report right away. Still, there could be delays in this process if the bureau feels the need to verify data that doesn’t seem quite right.
So, while your credit report gets updated as soon as new information is verified, it’s hard to say how often your credit report will be updated. That’s because the answer will depend on how often your data furnisher sends updates to the credit reporting bureau(s). And that depends on the data furnishers who have your accounts.
How You Can Obtain a Faster Credit Report Update
It can be frustrating to see that there’s positive information missing from your credit report that could boost your credit scores, especially if you’re applying for a loan or line of credit. However, there is a way to potentially make your credit report update a little faster.
“Rapid Rescore” is what it’s called and it’s the process by which a lender pays a credit reporting bureau to update your credit report in a matter of days. The motivation for a lender might be to help you get approved by them, and usually if they can see that you’re very close to the credit score range they require in order to approve you for a loan. This is even more likely if you’re able to pay down a balance quickly or if you’ve discovered a credit reporting error that’s hurting your score.
Although this can only be done by a lender, rapid rescore isn’t the only thing you can do to update your credit report. If you’ve spotted a mistake on one or more of your credit reports, you can dispute it. Once the credit reporting bureau showing the error receives your dispute, they have 30 days to address it (21 days in Maine). You can find out more about what you’ll need to file a credit report dispute here.
Finally, you can check your credit reports yourself for free once per year via AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also check your TransUnion report anytime at Upturn. The more you check your reports, the more you can be sure that the information being shown is accurate. And that means not having to wait until you’ve applied for credit to find out if your credit report is out of date.
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