4 Min Read | Updated: October 15, 2023

Originally Published: November 06, 2019

How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?

Find out how often your credit score updates—and its impact on your financial health. Learn about the process behind credit score reporting.

How Often Does a Credit Score Update?

This article contains general information and is not intended to provide information that is specific to American Express products and services. Similar products and services offered by different companies will have different features and you should always read about product details before acquiring any financial product.


Credit scores typically update at least once a month.

However, in some cases, your score could update more frequently.

When the activity occurred and when that account reports the information are important factors—most accounts report to credit bureaus monthly.

How often does your credit score update? It’s an important question if you’re trying to get your credit into top shape—particularly if you’re shopping for a new car, applying for a mortgage, or undertaking any other transactions that may require a credit check.


More specifically, how long does it take for potentially credit-boosting activities, like paying down credit card balances, to appear in your credit report and lift your credit score? Conversely, how long could it take for a financial slip-up, like a missed payment or unusually high monthly credit card balance, to drag down your score? 


As is so often the case with financial matters, simple questions don’t always have simple answers. The answer to how often your credit score updates is, unfortunately, “it depends.” As a guideline, credit bureaus suggest allowing at least a month for financial activity to be reflected in your credit report, at which point it can influence your credit score. But it could happen much sooner as well.

How Does a Credit Score Work?

If you’re feeling confused, it may help to understand a little about how the credit scoring process works.


Lenders, credit card companies and other creditors report information about your financial accounts to the credit bureaus (the biggest of which are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), typically once a month. The information includes key data points that can affect your credit score, such as whether you’re paying on time, your debt level, and your credit limit. As the bureaus receive the information, they incorporate it into your credit report.


When you apply for a credit card or a loan, the company that’s assessing your application sends a credit inquiry to one or more of these bureaus. In response to that inquiry, the credit bureaus feed the information in your credit report into a credit-scoring algorithm, which then generates a credit score in real time.


Of course, your payment activity can only influence your credit score after it’s reached the credit bureaus. But it’s hard to predict exactly when that will happen, because credit reporting is voluntary and there are no rules for when companies should report your information to the bureaus. As a result, each lender and creditor has its own reporting schedule, and some companies don’t report at all. Furthermore, each bureau has relationships with different financial institutions, so some information may be reported to one bureau but not to another.


And there’s no guarantee that any single payment activity will affect your credit score. Building credit can be a lengthy process that often requires a sustained track record of positive activity, like on-time payments.

Guidelines for How Often Your Score Is Updated

Despite the uncertainties, are there any general guidelines for how long it takes to update your credit score? Yes, according to the credit bureaus. TransUnion, for example, says that it can take a month to 45 days for activity to be reported to credit bureaus.1 Experian is equally cautious, reporting a period of 30 to 45 days before the payoff of an account balance is reflected in your credit report.2


Still, in some cases account information can reach the bureaus much faster. Credit card companies and lenders often report at around the same date that they create your monthly billing statements. So payments made just before the statement date could be quickly reported to the bureaus, while payments made just after that date could take much longer. Furthermore, even though monthly reporting is the standard, some lenders report more frequently, especially when there are substantial changes such as an account payoff or closure.


And because each creditor has its own reporting schedule, the credit bureaus may receive a stream of reports from different companies throughout the month.

What Is Rapid Rescoring?

Is there a way around the long wait for a credit score update? In some cases, yes, and it’s known as rapid rescoring. Rapid rescoring is a tool used by some lenders to update a credit report with more recent information. This is often used in the lead-up to approval for a large product, such as a mortgage, in which certain credit score thresholds could qualify you for a loan or a lower interest rate. A rapid rescore can only be requested by a lender or other financial institution and usually involves a fee. Keep in mind that it can’t erase any negative history, but it can ensure that recent positive activity is reflected in your current score ahead of the typical credit reporting cycle.

FAQs on How Often Does a Credit Score Update

What is a good credit score?

A credit score is a tool that’s used by lenders to help assess an individual’s creditworthiness. Your credit score is based on your credit history, which includes things like repayment history, amounts owed, and more.


Credit scores are typically classified into ranges that categorize the three-digit number on a scale from “poor” to “excellent.” The most common scoring model typically uses numbers from 300 to 850. The higher your number, the more likely you are to be considered a low-risk borrower and be approved for loans and other lines of credit—but there’s no bulletproof number that guarantees acceptance. An example of ranges might be:


  • Excellent: 800 to 850
  • Very good: 740 to 799
  • Good: 670 to 739
  • Fair: 580 to 669
  • Poor: 300 to 579

Why are there different types of credit scores?

There are multiple credit scoring models because there are multiple credit reporting bureaus. Each model computes their score based on the information found on your credit report but using different weights for each aspect. One model may put the most emphasis on timely payment history; another could prioritize your credit mix (the different types of accounts and debts you hold) or your utilization ratio. In this manner, the same information about your credit history can lead to different scores depending on the model used.3 Even the same agency may compute your score differently depending on the type of loan you’re seeking (for example, an auto loan vs. a credit card application).4

Is your credit score always changing?

It’s normal for your credit score to change. Due to the nature of credit reporting, your credit score is constantly being updated. Lenders make their reports at different times of the month, to different agencies, and so the different credit bureaus may have different information at any given moment. Your score is calculated upon request (whether that’s from you or a financial institution) and so it will represent whatever information is available and updated at the time. This could then change from day to day (or multiple times in one day) depending on the current updates being reported.5

The Takeaway

There’s no single answer to the question of how often a credit score is updated, largely because each lender has its own schedule for reporting information to credit bureaus. Some bureaus suggest allowing at least a month for payment activity to be reflected in your credit report, but it can happen faster in some cases.

Mike Faden

Mike Faden has covered business and technology issues for more than 30 years as a writer, consultant, and analyst for media brands, market-research firms, startups and established corporations.


All Credit Intel content is written by freelance authors and commissioned and paid for by American Express. 

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