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How often is my credit score updated?

When you’re focused on building credit, knowing where your credit score is at can help you keep going. There’s just one thing: there’s no hard schedule for when your credit score updates.

In Canada, your credit score is generally updated every 30 to 45 days. But that loose timeline can vary depending on how your money moves in and out. When you understand how your credit score is calculated, you can get a pretty good idea when it’ll change.

Why your credit score matters

The higher your credit score, measured on a scale of 300-900, the more likely you’ll get approved for things that require good credit: we’re talking about loans, credit cards or a lease, for example.

Here are some things that positively impact your credit score:

1. Punctual payments: When you make your payments on or before the due date, your credit score is likely to go up. And if you carry credit card balances, it’s likely to go down.

2. A history of greatness: If you can show a long history of making your payments on time, that’s amazing for your credit score.

3. Extra room: It looks good if you have credit available that you aren’t using – the percentage of used credit to available credit is known as your credit utilization.

4. A little bit of everything: A good credit mix – as in having a handle on different types of credit like monthly bills, credit cards and installment payments – can help boost your credit score.

On the other hand, new credit inquiries, like applying for a credit card, can hurt your credit score. We suggest trying Quick Check®1, our free service which tells you if you’ll be pre-approved before your credit score takes a hit when you apply.

How your credit score gets updated

Think about all the different companies you do business with every month: we’re talking about credit card issuers, phone and internet providers, and banks you have loans with. It’s likely they report your activity to one or both of the credit reporting agencies in Canada: Equifax and TransUnion.

We say “likely” for two reasons. First, reporting is completely optional. And second, companies don’t have to disclose which credit reporting agencies they’re reporting to, or even if they’re reporting anything at all.

One thing we can tell you for sure is that Capital One does report your credit activity to both credit bureaus at the same time. This can benefit you because some lenders pull reports from multiple bureaus to assess your creditworthiness, and the differences in their reporting algorithms could provide a bigger picture of your credit history.

When a company shares your activity, the credit reporting agencies update your credit report. These updates can impact your credit score.

When you can expect your credit to update

Like we said, your credit score is usually updated once every 30 to 45 days. But it really depends.

Remember our merry band of credit accounts from above? They all report at different times. This could cause your score to fluctuate more than once a month, because you have several accounts reporting your activity throughout the same period of time.

The flip side is if you aren’t really using a lot of credit or paying monthly bills, your credit score typically stays the same. There’s just not that much to report.

How much your credit score changes

If you’re having a fairly good month, you can expect your credit score to fluctuate by around 10 or 20 points.

How to dispute a mistake on your credit report

If you catch a mistake, it can really boost your credit score. They do happen, so if something doesn’t seem quite right, it’s worth it to double check the information in your credit report. Even if everything appears normal, it’s smart to review it once a year.

Credit reporting agencies are legally obligated to correct errors for free. Pull together receipts and statements to support your findings and head to the credit reporting agencies’ websites, where you’ll complete a form.

Disputing your credit report: Equifax

Disputing your credit report: TransUnion

Alternatively, you can contact the lender directly and ask them to double-check their information.

Tip: Did you know that you can get a copy of your credit report for free? Check out the Equifax or TransUnion websites to find out how.

How to keep track of your credit score

Now that you have a sense of how often your credit score is updated, you’ll know how often it’s worth reviewing. One easy way of checking your credit score for free is with Capital One’s Credit Keeper® tool.2 It doesn’t impact your credit score and you can use it whether you’re a Capital One cardholder or not.

1 If Quick Check pre-approves a card, you can be 100% sure we’ll approve your application as long as:

a. There’s been no change in your credit file information, personal information or financial status from the time you receive your Quick Check results to the time you apply for one of our credit cards;

b. You’re at least the age of majority in the province or territory you live in;

c. Your application isn’t flagged for fraud prevention;

d. You don’t have an existing Capital One account; and

e. You haven’t applied for a Capital One account in the last 30 days or had an account with us that was not in good standing in the last year. In good standing means not past due, over limit, fraudulent, restricted, or part of a consumer credit counselling program or bankruptcy.

In some cases, we may not be able to open an account for you even though your application was approved. This can happen if we’re unable to verify your identity, or you don’t provide the required security funds if you’re approved for a Secured Mastercard®.

2 The credit score and report information by Credit Keeper is intended for educational purposes only. Lenders and other commercial users may use a different type of credit score and other information when making credit decisions.

Credit Keeper is a service offered by Capital One and is powered by credit information provided by TransUnion. Availability may vary depending on our ability to verify your identity and obtain your information from TransUnion. Credit Keeper might be unavailable to some Quebec residents.

TransUnion and associated names and logos are trademarks of TransUnion, LLC or an affiliate.