When does your credit score increase?
We need a bit of background information before the answer to this question will make any sense. First of all, in the UK we don’t have a single unified credit score as such. There are three credit agencies and each of them will give you a score based on your credit history and using their own algorithms.
That said, the biggest credit reference agency is Experian, and if you hear people speak of a credit score they might mean this one.
Either way, your credit information should be changing all the time – new data is added and existing data becomes older, all of which will affect your credit worthiness.
Credit information isn’t instantaneous though. Any company that lends you money has to report details of your account to the credit agencies, and generally this is done once per month. This means that any new information (such as you making a payment, paying off a debt, missing a payment etc…) will only be added when that creditor next reports.
If you pay off a loan the day before reporting then it should show up very quickly, but if you pay it off 2 days later it will be about 2 months before your credit file is updated.
So when will my score increase?
Well assuming that you are actively using credit and paying it off, you should have a constant stream off new information being added. If you are fairly inactive, then your file might only have a couple of new pieces of information each month.
Either way, the real question is when will the next information make enough difference to impact your credit score. Fairly small things like small bill payments might not be enough on their own to make a difference, but a nice big loan cleared normally will do.
It’s best not to worry too much about your actual score, so long as you look after your finances; if you just check your score (with any of the agencies) once a month, you should see some movement in the right direction.