Mortgage California Blog

How Often Does Your Credit Score Change?

January 24th, 2013

Approved Mortgage loanHow Often Does Your Credit Score Change?

This is a question we often get during the mortgage process.  A credit check may have uncovered some incorrect information, and you get it updated.  So how fast will it change?

What is a Credit Score

Per the reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Expperian), your score is a snapshot of your current credit report as well as how many pulls you have had on your report.  For example, from Yahoo:

“Right now it’s 11:40 my time,” said Rod Griffin, director of public relations for Experian, when I interviewed him for this story. “Let’s say a lender requested your credit report right now. If you apply for credit (again) in an hour your credit report could be different,” he says, referring to the inquiry that would have been generated when the first lender accessed my credit information.

“Credit reports can change as often as every day if there is new information provided to the credit bureaus,” says Barry Paperno, community director for Credit.com.

If you want to be technical about it, you don’t really have a credit report on file with the credit reporting agencies to begin with. Explains Griffin: “We have information from each of the lenders, and we go out to our databases and compile information from those databases when a credit report is requested. Your credit report represents a snapshot of your credit history at any given point in time.”

That means that the information is available in the credit reporting agencies’ (CRAs) databases at the time a credit report is requested is the information that will be reported. “You don’t have a credit report until you apply for credit and it’s requested,” Griffin says.

But it’s not like checking your online bank account and seeing the debit card purchase you made a few minutes ago in your running balance. “It’s not real time,” says Griffin.

So What Do You Recommend?

  • Set up payment reminders so you never have a late payment again.  Do remember that a lot of credit card companies want the payment a few days before the due date to have time to process it.  It’s not fair since they say it’s due on a certain date, but it’s best be a few days early.
  • Set up automatic payments using online banking where you can.
  • Reduce the amount of debt you  owe.
  • Check your credit report annually.  You can get your free report here.  Now, this won’t give you a score unless you pay for it.  But you can at least look for mistakes which do happen.
  • Get your credit report 3-6 months before applying for a major loan.
  • Be patient.  It can take 30-60 days for information to be updated on a credit report after you’ve made changes (like paying off a student loan, or had disputed information resolved)

8 Surprising Things That Impact Your Credit

And what would a post be without some trivia.  This is from Credit.com blog:

  1. Renting a car
  2. Applying for credit (even when you aren’t rejected)
  3. Disputing an account
  4. Having credit cards, but no loans
  5. Just a single late payment
  6. Closing an account
  7. Divorce
  8. Late library books

What other questions do you have about your credit report and score?

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