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Why My Credit Score Went Down

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Why Your CREDIT SCORE Went Down!

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How Many Points Does Your Credit Score Go Down For An Inquiry

Hard inquiries may result in a 5 to 10 point drop and can remain on your report for a few months up to two years.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends avoiding applying for new lines of credit just before, or while youre applying for a mortgage or loan. This can help increase your odds of being approved, as you wont have a record of multiple hard inquiries lowering your credit score.

It is a credit myth that your credit score goes down when you check it with a soft inquiry. In fact, its actually good practice to keep track of your credit by periodically checking it through soft inquiries, in order to evaluate any changes to your score.

An Account That You Are Piggybacking On Became Delinquent

Sometimes being an authorized user on a credit card or having a joint account can be a risky thing. You are relying on the other person to pay their bills on time and to manage their balances well, otherwise, their behavior can compromise your credit.

In other words, an ideal tradeline should have a low utilization ratio, it should have a higher age than your average age of accounts and your oldest account, and most importantly, it needs to have a perfect payment history.

Therefore, you want to avoid being added as an authorized user to a tradeline that has any derogatory marks on it so that those derogatory items dont get added to your credit file and end up damaging your credit.

Thats the danger of piggybacking on a friend or family members credit cardeven if the tradeline is perfect when you are first added to it, theres no guarantee that it will stay that way.

If your authorized user tradeline does get any missed payments on its record, that could definitely hurt your credit, and it would be smart to remove yourself from it immediately. To do so, simply call the credit card issuer and request to be removed from the account, as most banks allow you to do this without needing to go through the primary account holder.

Delinquency on the part of the primary account holder can cause problems if you are piggybacking on someone elses credit account.

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Your Credit Utilization May Have Increased

An additional factor that affects your credit score is utilization, which is simply the amount of credit available to you that youre actually using. For example, if your only account is a credit card with a $1,000 limit and you have a balance of $200, youre using 20 percent of your available credit.

In general, lenders want to see that youre using 30 percent or less of your available credit, as this signals that youre able to manage your finances without leaning too heavily on credit.

If you pay off a credit card debt and close the account, the total amount of credit available to you decreases. As a result, your overall utilization may go up, leading to a drop in your credit score.

As a rule of thumb, its often helpful to keep older accounts open even if you dont use them often, unless they involve an annual fee or theres another good reason to close them.

Your Credit Limit Decreased

Why Did My Credit Score Go Down?

Another way your credit utilization can be affected is with changes in your credit limit. Usually, changes in credit limit are increases, and these increases actually decrease your credit utilization rate, thereby increasing your score.

But what if your credit limit decreases?

Well then your credit utilization rate goes up and your score goes down.

Lets use the same $850 balance as above, but decrease the overall credit limits to $4k. This increases the credit utilization rate to 21%. This increase could cause a sizable point decrease in your credit score.

But why would your overall credit limit decrease?

The most common answer would be that you recently closed an account. Closing an account will retain the payment history of the account on your credit report, but will remove the credit limit.

It is also possible that the credit card company decreased your limit. This can happen because you moved your account to a different type of credit card or because you opened a new credit card with them and they transferred part of your limit to the new card.

Very rarely will the card issuer lower your credit limit as punishment for failure to make monthly payments on time.

Also, consider that sometimes a lender advises you to call the bank and lower the credit limit on one or more of your accounts to appear more favorable on a home loan application. Just be aware of how this affects your credit utilization before you do it.

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Can A Credit Score Drop Even If Nothing Changed On My Credit Report

It can sometimes seem like your credit score fluctuates up or down even if you seemingly havent done anything to influence it.

Sometimes your score does change based on factors out of your control. For example, there are different scoring models for calculating your credit score based on your financial information. It is common to see differences in scores from one model to the next.

However, if you see a big drop in your score, it is usually triggered by something specific. Most times your behaviour influences your score in ways that may not be obvious.

Below are some common reasons why your credit score may go down when nothing has changed. This will give you an indication of what to look for on your credit report.

You Recently Applied For A Mortgage Loan Or New Credit Card

Whenever you apply for a new line of credit, lenders will request a copy of your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. They decide whether to lend to you by viewing characteristics like your payment history, credit usage and the types of accounts you currently hold.

Each time you authorize someone other than yourself, such as a lender, to check your credit history, a hard inquiry is recorded on your credit report and could slightly affect your score for up to two years.

As your credit profile matures, it’s natural to accumulate hard inquiries. But if you apply for too much credit in a short period of time, it can negatively impact your scores and affect the likelihood that lenders will approve you for new credit.

Depending on how many inquiries you already have, a new hard inquiry could cause your score to drop, but potentially only for a short period of time. And any effect on your credit score should disappear in about one year.

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How Do I Get My Credit Score To Go Up

Recovering from bad credit can take a while depending on what impacted your credit score. Ultimately, keep in mind is that credit is not generally very forgiving but it is possible to repair your credit with basic and with the implementation of good credit practices.

Transunion outlines a few different ways to build your credit health:

Check Your Credit Report

Use a credit checking service like Turbo to periodically check in on your credit score. This can help you understand what has impacted your score and give you the opportunity to identify any mistakes on your score.

Increase Your Credit Limit

Requesting a credit limit increase can help you keep your credit utilization rate in the sweet spot. Just be sure to keep your spending habits in control when you have more spending power with a higher limit.

Consider Opening Appropriate New Lines of Credit or Up Your Credit Limit

As previously mentioned, its wise to apply only for credit cards youre likely to be approved for. Dont risk lowering your credit score for an unnecessary hard inquiry. Keeping an open line of credit with a very minimal or zero balance can sometimes help improve your credit utilization standing. If youre not using a significant portion of your available credit, your credit score can go up. Make sure to do your research before deciding to open a new credit card to repair your credit as this varies for each credit user.

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Pay Before Issuer Reports

Why did my credit score drop even though nothing changed?

Okay, we need to break this one down a bit. Issuers report payments to the 3 credit bureaus every 30 days, but the date they do this varies. Meaning, if you make your payment on the due date of the 27th every month, but they report on the 23rdyou look like youre always carrying a high balance.

Simply put: call the insurer, find out the date they report payments and make your payment at least a few days before this date.

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You Have Double Jeopardy With Collection Accounts On Your Credit Report

Debt collection agencies are not known to be the most trustworthy entities and often do not have the best practices when it comes to keeping track of debts and contacting consumers. Information often gets lost or misrecorded when it is transferred between creditors and sometimes numerous collection agencies.

Because of this, some consumers find themselves with more than one entry for the same open collection account on their credit report, which is known as double jeopardy.

While the same collection may be listed multiple times due to the account changing hands, only the entity who currently owns the debt should be reporting the account as open.

Fortunately, if a collection is being reported in error, you can dispute the inaccurate information and have the information be corrected or potentially removed altogether.

Your Credit Utilization Has Increased

Maxing out your credit card could cause a quick drop in your credit score. Depending on your card’s credit limit, making a large purchase or simply running up your balance can increase your , the second most important factor in calculating your FICO® Score. An increased credit utilization ratio can indicate to lenders that you are overextended and that, financially, you’re not well-positioned to take on new debt.

Your credit utilization ratio is calculated by adding all your credit card balances at any given time and dividing that sum by your total revolving credit limit. For example, if you typically charge about $2,000 each month, and your total credit limit across all your cards is $10,000, your utilization ratio will be 20%.

You should aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%, and for the best scores, below 10%. So, if your total credit limit is $10,000, keep your balances below $3,000 at all times to help keep your score in good shape.

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How To Keep An Eye On Credit Score Fluctuations

Keeping a sharp eye on your credit report and score is the most effective way to know whats going on with your creditworthiness. Although your credit score isnt included on your credit report, you can get a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year and inspect for errors or suspicious activity.

Theres also the option of paying for a credit monitoring service that alerts you whenever theres any activity related to your credit report so you can know exactly whats going on at all times.

Why Did My Credit Score Go Down When Nothing Changed

Why Did my Credit Score Go Down? (Best Answer)

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If you are keeping a good handle on your finances, and your FICO credit score suddenly starts taking a nosedive, you might start to panic.

You havent made any recent changes to your credit file in the way of opening new accounts or maxing out your credit cards. So why did your credit score decrease?

Before you immediately jump to the assumption of fraud, take a close look at all the aspects of your credit accounts. Sometimes small changes such as reported statement balances or credit limits can have a big impact on your credit score.

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Change In Credit Utilization Rate

Your is another important factor in determining credit scores. VantageScore says that its extremely influential, and FICO® says that it accounts for 30% of your overall score.

If you spent more than usual last month , it will increase your credit utilization rate. How far will your scores drop because of it? The effect will vary, depending on how much your ratio of credit used versus available credit went up. To keep your credit scores steady, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, recommends that consumers keep their credit utilization rate below 30%.

Imagine that you have a $10,000 credit limit, of which you typically only use $1,500 . If your spending one month increases to $2,500, your utilization ratio will still be solid overall at 25%. But if your spending suddenly increased to $5,000 , your scores could start showing a decline.

You Were The Victim Of Identity Theft

Finally, lets address what might be the most frightening reason for a drop in credit scores: Someone could have stolen your identity and applied for credit accounts in your name.

If you discover that an impostor is using your identity, dont panic. There are actions you can take to help reverse the damage it may have caused to your credit scores.

But how do you spot identity theft in the first place? One step to consider is . Keeping a close eye on your credit scores and credit reports may help you catch suspicious activity faster than if youre not regularly monitoring your accounts. Youre entitled to one free credit report periodically from each of the three major consumer credit bureaus at

If youve been a victim of identity theft, youll likely want to make a recovery plan. Placing a fraud alert on your credit file could be a good place to begin. You only need to place the alert with one of the national credit bureaus. The other two bureaus will be automatically notified.

After youve added your fraud alert to your credit profile, you may want to fill out an identity theft report with the FTC. Then you can begin the process of disputing inquiries on your report if necessary.

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Avoid Applying For Any New Credit Accounts

Did your score drop because of a new credit application? If so, try to wait 3 to 6 months before submitting another application. This gives your credit score time to recover before you subject it to another hard inquiry.

There is one exception to this rule. If youre shopping around for a loan, you may decide to submit multiple applications in a short period of time. Typically, similar inquiries made within a period of 14 to 45 days are counted as one inquiry on your credit report.

Applying For New Accounts

Why Did My Credit Score Drop for No Reason

Applying for credit cards or loans can cause your credit score to go down. This is so because every time you apply for a credit card or loan, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit report. A single hard inquiry can cause your credit score to go down by 5 to 10 points. While a single hard inquiry will not cause your credit score to go down by much, several hard inquiries can cause a significant decrease in your credit score. So, if you applied for a new credit card or loan, even if you werent approved for them, your credit score may have slightly gone down because applying alone will cause a hard inquiry to appear on your credit score, bringing it down.

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You Didnt Use Your Credit Card For A Long Time

Your credit card issuer might have closed your account if it had been inactive for a long time.

If you dont use a credit card for a long period of time, its possible that your credit card issuer may decide to close your account due to the lack of activity.

As we discussed above, a closed credit card is bad news for your credit since the loss of available credit hurts your credit utilization and it may also damage your mix of credit.

According to The Balance, the credit card company is not required to give you advance notice if they plan to close your account, so its best to take proactive measures to prevent this from happening.

To avoid having your card closed due to inactivity, make sure you use it to make a purchase at least once every few months. An easy way to do this is to use the credit card to pay for a subscription service that renews each month. Then, set up automatic bill payments on your credit card and the whole process will be automated.


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