How to properly check your credit

When you check your credit, it’s important to not just obtain a credit report from one bureau. There are three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Your reports at each bureau may not always have the same information, typically due to inaccurate data or the timing of the bureaus’ updates. 


Typical credit report discrepancies

If you pull your report from all three bureaus on the same day and notice a discrepancy, such as one bureau not showing the most-up-to-date information, the most obvious reason for the discrepancy is that the bureau has just not updated your file yet. Although creditors sometimes submit data to all three bureaus at the same time, the bureaus do not update credit reports at the same time. The update could take up to 30 days.


True errors on your report could also stem from a credit bureau not updating your report properly, either due to human or computer error. 


Because creditors have to pay to report to credit bureaus, some creditors do not report to any bureau, and some will report to just one or two. In some cases, creditors choose to stop reporting accounts, or the reporting is sporadic.


How to resolve discrepancies

If you notice that an account is not reporting or there are missing updates, you can contact the creditor to confirm the reason for the missing updates. Ask that they provide the bureaus with the missing data.


If 30 days hasn’t passed since your report should have been updated, you have the option of waiting it out to see if the update appears, or contacting the creditor to confirm if they submitted the update. If , after 30 days, your information hasn’t been updated, you should contact the creditor again to see if they submitted it. If the creditor confirms that they’ve submitted the data, you should file a dispute with the credit bureau that doesn’t have the updated information. If they inform you that they didn’t submit the data, you have the option of filing a dispute directly with them or with the credit bureau.