Credit Advice

When will paid accounts be updated?

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Credit Advice

When will paid accounts be updated?

Dear Experian,

My wife and I have paid off a lot of our debt, and we would like to know how long it takes to update our credit reports on one or more bureaus. We are planning to buy a house or refinance a car loan but want our credit to look better before we do that. We just don't know when the changes will take effect.

- RGR

Dear RGR,

Your accounts will be updated when the lender reports the new information, usually at the end of the billing cycle.

If you made the payments at the beginning of the billing cycle, it could be 30 days to 45 days before the information is updated. If you made the payments near the end of the billing cycle, the updates could be made much sooner.

Generally, I advise people to allow two billing cycles, about 60 days, before getting a new credit report. That will allow plenty of time for the new information to appear in your credit report. It also will allow a little bit more time for your credit history to stabilize after the changes.

Credit scoring systems can be negatively affected for a short time after large changes in your credit history because the changes create instability in the credit history. After major changes, like paying off several large debts, it isn’t immediately clear what those changes represent in terms of risk.

After a billing cycle or two with continued on time payments it becomes evident that the changes were positive and that no negative activity is happening, such as suddenly taking on large amounts of new debt, and credit scores typically bounce back up.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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