If you check your credit score often, you may notice that it hardly remains the same. But what causes the frequent changes? It boils down to when lenders and creditors report new information to the three major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—that ends on your credit report. Each time new data is reported, your score could change. Here’s why.
How Often Is Your Credit Information Updated?
It depends on your creditor, lenders and other companies you do business with. Generally, you’ll see updates on the following:
- Payment activity, including the status of the account, late or on-time payments and other updates to the consumer’s payment history
- Current credit card and loan balances
- The total amount of debt that’s outstanding across the board
- Inquiries for new credit accounts when you apply for a credit card or loan
- New accounts when they’re opened.
- Soft inquiries that result from prescreened offers, employer credit, pulls or periodic reviews from existing creditors (Quick note: These inquiries have no bearing on your credit score).
Be mindful that each change could have a different impact on your credit score, and some may not change your credit score at all. Furthermore, the exact impact will depend on what’s in your credit report and the credit-reporting model—FICO or Vantage—being used to calculate your score.
How Often Do Creditors Report to Credit Bureaus?
Most creditors report to the credit bureaus every 30 to 45 days. However, the exact reporting day is hardly ever the same amongst creditors, as most send in updates at different times. One credit bureau could receive updated information before the others.
How Often Does Experian Update Your Credit Report?
Experian updates your credit report each time it receives information from an information furnisher. As mentioned earlier, this is typically every 30 to 45 days but could vary.
How Often Does Experian Update Your Credit Score?
As information is added, updated or deleted from your Experian credit report, your credit score could change in real-time. This means you could check your score in the morning, afternoon and evening and see three different credit scores.
What Can You Do If There Are Errors in Your Credit Report?
Credit report errors aren’t unusual, so you should take time to review the information in your credit file. If you notice inaccuracies during your review, file a dispute with the credit reporting agency reporting the inaccurate information promptly.
Here’s how to move forward with submitting the necessary disputes:
- Online: Visit the online dispute center found on the website.
- By phone: Call the number listed on your credit report.
- By mail: Send your dispute letter(s) and supporting documents to Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013 (be sure to reference the instructions found on Experian’s dispute center before you mail in your dispute)
- Online: Use the online dispute service.
- By phone: Call 800-916-8800.
- By mail: Send your package to TransUnion LLC, Consumer Dispute Center, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA, 19016.
- Online: Use the online portal.
- By phone: Call 866-349-5191.
- By mail: Send your written dispute and any relevant documents to P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374.
Can Experian Help You Improve Your Credit Score?
Experian Boost is a free tool offered by the credit bureau to improve your credit score effortlessly. You’ll get credit for qualifying on-time payments to streaming services, utility, cable and cell phone providers on your Experian credit report. Participating service providers include AT&T, Disney+, HBO, Hulu and Spectrum. There are no credit checks or minimum qualification criteria, and late or missed payments won’t be reported.
The average Experian Boost user sees a 12 point increase in their FICO Score 8. Users with established credit history generally won’t see that much of an impact, if any at all.
You can give Experian a test drive by signing up for a free CreditWorks℠ Basic membership. When you register, you’ll also get access to your free Experian FICO® Score and credit report with monthly updates, and FICO score monitoring of Experian data, Experian alerts and credit monitoring, and a loan and credit card matching tool.
If you sign up for Experian Boost and decide it’s not a good fit, you can un-enroll at any time.