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When Do Credit Cards Report to the Credit Bureaus?

Joe Lytwyn - 7.5+ Years Financial Exp. | 1st November, 2022

When Do Credit Cards Report to Credit Bureaus?

Your credit card activity is recorded on your credit file. Here’s a quick guide to how and when credit cards report to the bureaus.

Credit bureaus are also commonly called credit reference agencies (CRAs). These companies record your credit history to help lenders assess how likely you are to pay back money owed to credit providers. Well known credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.

Each of these companies uses your credit history to build your personal credit score. You can view your credit history and check your score through the main bureaus. They each use different criteria to calculate credit scores, so your score may differ depending on which bureau you look at.

Why Do Credit Card Companies Report to the Bureaus?

All lenders have a regulatory obligation to conduct a credit worthiness assessment before lending money to consumers. This is to reduce the chance that they lend money to people who can’t afford the repayments.

So, credit card companies must provide information about your account to the bureaus so that your credit file is up to date. This joins data from other sources such as utility companies and any other credit providers.

When Do Credit Cards Report to the Bureaus?

Credit card companies typically update the credit bureaus monthly. However, the length of time it takes to update your account depends on your card billing date and the time of the month that your information is sent to the bureau.

You should therefore allow up to 8 weeks for your credit file to be updated with your credit card activity.

How Do Credit Cards Report to the Bureaus?

Each credit card provider will have a secure process set up with each credit bureau to transfer the necessary information. There are strict laws in place to make sure companies share information using the necessary levels of data security.

What Happens When Credit Card Providers Report You to the Bureaus?

When credit cards report to the bureaus the information is added to your credit file. When your credit file changes, the updated information will be available to other lenders if they conduct a credit search.

The bureaus will also use the updated information to recalculate your credit score.

Can You Check Your Credit File?

Yes, you can request your credit file and credit score through any of the main credit bureaus. Remember that each bureau has its own method for calculating your score so it will differ depending on which one you choose to view.

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About the author

7.5+ years financial experience

Date published: 19th October 2023
Latest edit: 21st February 2024