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What causes FICO score to drop?

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What causes FICO score to drop?

Old 10-07-06, 11:01 AM
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What causes FICO score to drop?

Ever since I got my first credit card I have been very anal about keeping my FICO score high. The lowest my FICO has ever been is a 715. I usually keep it at around 720, and last month it was a 726. Well I just checked it, and for some reason it has dropped to a 688!!!! What the hell? I have not missed any payments, I have not been late on any payments, and even if I had, I can't imagine why it would drop this low. My car insurance is about to expire and I am shopping for another carrier (I started last night) and a low FICO score (yes, I know 688 isn't low, but compared to my average, it is) is the last thing I need right now.
Old 10-07-06, 11:18 AM
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many things
Old 10-07-06, 11:19 AM
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How many lines of credit do you have open? What are the credit limits? What's your current balance in terms of your total debt?
Old 10-07-06, 12:49 PM
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Late payments, utilization on revolving credit, requests for additional credit, average age of your revolving accounts. There's a bunch of things that go into it. Not only that, but it's usually different depending on which agency you get the score from.
Old 10-07-06, 02:36 PM
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Current Balance / Credit Line ratio is one of the more idiotic factors they use. If you use your credit card to pay all your major bills, and that amount is close to your credit limit, even if you pay off the entire balance on time, they still dock you points. Assholes. I have this problem, as I use a card for everything to get nice cash back perks, so my monthly balance is typically a high percentage of my limit. I pay it back down to $0 every month, but in months where I have greater-than-average expenses, my FICO score takes a temporary bullshit hit.

das
Old 10-07-06, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by das Monkey
Current Balance / Credit Line ratio is one of the more idiotic factors they use. If you use your credit card to pay all your major bills, and that amount is close to your credit limit, even if you pay off the entire balance on time, they still dock you points. Assholes. I have this problem, as I use a card for everything to get nice cash back perks, so my monthly balance is typically a high percentage of my limit. I pay it back down to $0 every month, but in months where I have greater-than-average expenses, my FICO score takes a temporary bullshit hit.

das
that is bullshit.

i think its even more stupid the fact that NO ONE in the general public knows how they actually compute fico scores, soemthing that HUGELY affects everyones lives. its such a big part of our futures (buying stuff, getting good rates, etc) yet they dont explain it, we never know hows its actually calculated and we dont know exactly how to improve it (apparently just paying off all your bills on time, the best measurement of how reliable someone is or will be, doesnt do it and in fact DROPS your FICO score...wtf?!).

it needs to be a FAIR and SIMPLE formula so people can understand how it works and how to fix their own scores. if your FICO score drops to say 650 and you make your goal to improve it to 700 over the next 2 years, you should be able to look at a formula and say "ok if i spend ____ dollars for _____ years and always pay if off, it should go up _____ points" - something simple and fair.
Old 10-08-06, 12:28 PM
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Do you guys have a way that you're checking your scores without having to pay for the report?
Old 10-08-06, 01:22 PM
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Well, considering the frequencies of bankruptcies/foreclosures/repos these days, I have absolutely no problem letting them 'do what they do'.

Though I do have one BEEF with them! I went to cosign on my sister's car the other day. I was like "I have around a 720". And here, they use this completely different scoring method for cars. So I had something like a 630. That just seems like another reason to make people HATE buying cars.
Old 10-08-06, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nazz
Do you guys have a way that you're checking your scores without having to pay for the report?
Yes. But it is a pain. You need to find the different websites that do the different scores. For instance, freecreditreport.com is Experian. The other two have their own websites to, which you can get free reports on.

Personally, I like having everything centralized. So I just use freecreditreport.com, and pay whenever I want to know my other agencies' scores.
Old 10-08-06, 02:44 PM
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I just got my annual free credit report from Equifax, and they asked if I would like my credit score for like $8.00. Since I've never known my score before, I figured what the heck. Just good to check on it every now and then...

EDIT: If you're really worried about your credit score and want advice, as well as all three reports and scores, check out www.myfico.com. One of my professors was totin' this website back in business school. It costs like $50 so I was like meh, but it might be a really good resource.
Old 10-08-06, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Anubis2005X
EDIT: If you're really worried about your credit score and want advice, as well as all three reports and scores, check out www.myfico.com. One of my professors was totin' this website back in business school. It costs like $50 so I was like meh, but it might be a really good resource.
You can try out "score watch" free for 30 days. They will email you everytime your score changes and you can log on for a detail explanation of why it changed.
Old 10-08-06, 06:26 PM
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I have a WAMU credit card that gives free FICO scores as a perk.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/mess...h+credit+score


Good post here about credit scores.
Old 10-08-06, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by das Monkey
Current Balance / Credit Line ratio is one of the more idiotic factors they use. If you use your credit card to pay all your major bills, and that amount is close to your credit limit, even if you pay off the entire balance on time, they still dock you points. Assholes. I have this problem, as I use a card for everything to get nice cash back perks, so my monthly balance is typically a high percentage of my limit. I pay it back down to $0 every month, but in months where I have greater-than-average expenses, my FICO score takes a temporary bullshit hit.

das
There's no running chart of your FICO. If your FICO was 662 in April but 780 now, April doesn't matter. Same thing if it was 821 in April and 582 now. Tough luck.

If you're expecting a big purchase coming up (car, house), don't drive up your card limits that month. That, or get some cards and never use them. That'll help the overall utilization anyways.
Old 10-08-06, 08:18 PM
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Yeah, I've learned to plan around that. Also, if you don't have a lot of credit cards, don't go opening new accounts right before a big purchase.

das
Old 10-08-06, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Joxer
What causes FICO score to drop?
Old 10-08-06, 11:31 PM
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So...I recently realized that my previous aversion to credit cards was damn stupid...I got screwed when I tried to move, set up utilities, got a job, etc...
I finally applied for a credit card.

My first CC is $1000 balance, and I buy everything I can with it, then pay it off each month. It is between $600-800 a month, but always a zero balance at the beginning of the cycle.

Is this screwing me even more? What the hell?
Old 10-09-06, 12:17 AM
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No, it's not screwing you more because you're building a positive credit history, but if you're carrying a balance 60% to 80% of your limit when you request your FICO score, you'll lose points for that.

das
Old 10-09-06, 07:41 AM
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What causes FICO score to drop?

Sunspots.

No, really. It's utter bullshit, but the rat racers in the credit report industry have to do something with their day.
Old 10-09-06, 08:14 AM
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fico scores are affected by more than credit cards. rent, utilities, loan payments etc. all affect them
Old 10-09-06, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ams
So...I recently realized that my previous aversion to credit cards was damn stupid...I got screwed when I tried to move, set up utilities, got a job, etc...
I finally applied for a credit card.

My first CC is $1000 balance, and I buy everything I can with it, then pay it off each month. It is between $600-800 a month, but always a zero balance at the beginning of the cycle.

Is this screwing me even more? What the hell?
AFAIK, actually using the credit card does not affect your score positively. If you have a high utilization, it has a negative impact. If I were you, I would not charge more than 50% of the limit in a given period.
Old 10-09-06, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
fico scores are affected by more than credit cards. rent, utilities, loan payments etc. all affect them
Rent and utilities rarely affect credit. There's a small handful of utilities I've ever seen pop up (Verizon home phones, Pennsylvania power & gas). I've never seen rent pop up in credit and this is from looking at thousands of reports. The exception is if you didn't pay rent for two months and then high-tailed it, destroying the apartment in your wake. You might owe Pleasant Gardens Apartments $1500 and if you don't pay it, it will show up as judgment. But monthly payments? I've never seen one.
Old 10-09-06, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Duran
AFAIK, actually using the credit card does not affect your score positively. If you have a high utilization, it has a negative impact. If I were you, I would not charge more than 50% of the limit in a given period.
The only exception is that if you don't play to have your FICO checked, do what das does and use it to the limit, then pay it off. Eventually your credit card company will raise the limit. At some point, your limit might be $5000 or $10000 or $20000. It's going to be difficult to use it all up in a month.

For those of you who don't like credit cards, I suggest you get two or three anyways. Make sure they have no annual fee. Cut up two of the cards and throw them out. For the third one, keep it somewhere where it's not easy to grab and use it when you are buying specific things where it might help to use a CC (when traveling, etc). Or if you're still too tempted, cut that one as well. Having three open, unused accounts is going to help your credit much more than not having an account at all.
Old 10-09-06, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Rent and utilities rarely affect credit. There's a small handful of utilities I've ever seen pop up (Verizon home phones, Pennsylvania power & gas). I've never seen rent pop up in credit and this is from looking at thousands of reports. The exception is if you didn't pay rent for two months and then high-tailed it, destroying the apartment in your wake. You might owe Pleasant Gardens Apartments $1500 and if you don't pay it, it will show up as judgment. But monthly payments? I've never seen one.
i meant the not paying rent. i dont think late payments would show up unless you're months late...but i'm not sure on that

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