The information in your credit report is constantly subject to change as new information is added and old or inaccurate information is removed. But it can be difficult to predict when your credit report receives updates, as there is no universal standard for when third parties submit information about you to the credit bureaus.
When Creditors and Businesses Submit New Information About Your Accounts
Creditors have different payment cycles and processes in place for reporting information to the credit bureaus. As a result, information is not updated on a predictable cycle. For example, credit card companies with millions of cardholders may report information on their customers in batches, making it easier to process and submit large amounts of data to the credit bureaus.
New information that creditors and businesses provide about their customers to the credit bureaus includes:
- New accounts: New credit cards, loans and other types of accounts are reported to credit bureaus by the creditor. The information provided may include the date the account was established, credit limits and amounts owed, current standing of the account and more.
- Payment history: Creditors often report payment history, including on-time payments and late payments, to the credit bureaus.
- Negative information: Negative information, including past due accounts and accounts in collections, are reported to the credit bureaus.
Information may be submitted almost immediately, or it can take months. It’s also important to remember that there is no legal requirement for a business to report information about you to the credit bureau. While most lenders and credit card companies do, there is no guarantee.
Other Information on Your Credit Report
Outside of information about your accounts, there are other instances when new information is submitted to your credit report. Some of these items include:
- Bankruptcies: When you file for bankruptcy, the filing can appear on your credit report within a week, a month or more. Once it is discharged, the record can be updated.
- Hard inquiries: When a creditor checks your credit because you submitted a credit application, that inquiry can appear on your credit report. Hard inquiries can lower your credit score a few points, but the damage can be minimal if you continue to make all your payments on time.
- Soft inquiries: When someone checks your credit unrelated to a credit application, such as when you check your own credit or a credit card company prequalifies you for a credit card offer, a soft inquiry can land on your report. These inquiries do not affect your credit.
There is no standard for when bankruptcies or inquiries land on your credit report. Inquiries are immediately reported to the credit bureaus, and they can appear very quickly or take up to 30 days to show up.
Monitor Your Credit to Keep Up with Changes
Because it’s so difficult to predict when new information can appear on your credit report, it’s important to monitor your credit to ensure the integrity and accuracy of your consumer data. When new information shows up, you want to verify that it’s fair and accurate.
Inaccurate information can be the result of a clerical issue or mistaken identity, or a sign that you’re a victim of identity theft. Identity theft can do immense damage to your credit and finances, and it can take years to clean up if the fraud is extensive.
A credit monitoring service can alert you when new information appears on your report and if there is possible fraud. If you have been a victim of identity theft, you need to take action to undo damage that has already occurred and prevent further fraud from occurring.