Your credit report is a record of your credit history. It shows how you've handled credit in the past, which helps lenders decide whether or not to lend to you and what rates to offer. It contains information such as how much money you've borrowed and if you repay bills on time. It also contains some public record information – like if you’re on the electoral roll, or if you have a bankruptcy in your name.
But your credit report doesn't stay the same – it's a constantly changing record that reflects how you use credit throughout your life.
Here's a quick guide to how it gets updated and how often...
When you take out a line of credit, such as a credit card or a loan, it gets recorded by the lender for their records. They’ll make a note of the kind of credit you have and how much money they’ve lent to you. This could be the size of your loan, the limit on your credit card or maybe the size of your overdraft. You don’t even have to take out credit for a lender to make a note of you. They’ll also make a note of anyone who applies for credit – whether you're accepted or rejected. They'll then report this to the Credit Reference Agencies (known as CRAs).
Once you take out credit, your lenders will also continue to keep note of how you use it - whether you pay your bills on time, how much credit you use and what your remaining balance is.
Different lenders report to the CRAs at different times and each lender has its own reporting procedure. For example, some lenders report at the start of the month, while others report closer to the end.
This data will be held on your report for around six years, after which it'll be removed. (Though the length of time will vary depending on the type of information, and where it originally came from).
ClearScore updates your report once a week
ClearScore tries to get a new report for you from Equifax once every month. Whether that's a new credit card or a change to your credit limit, you'll know the same week that Equifax does. Pretty cool, right? Different lenders report their findings to Equifax at different times. So while you might see some updates weekly, the update cycle is usually on a month-to-month basis.
This means that it can take between four to six weeks for new information to appear on your report. So if you’ve recently taken out a credit card, for example, it's likely that it won’t show immediately on your report. If you believe data might be more than four to six weeks out of date, you canso that Equifax can look into this for you..