Why did my credit score drop ten points despite the fact that nothing had changed?
Because credit scores are dynamic, they can drop by 10 points or more even if you haven’t missed any payments. They alter as new and updated information on your credit report is uploaded. Because most lenders report to the major credit reporting agencies in 30-day increments, slightly varying statistics from month to month are pretty normal.
It’s also possible that you’re looking at a different credit score. Keep in mind that you have more than one. Although all scores are based on the same fundamentals, each algorithm may do calculations in a slightly different way. You’ll probably find different figures if you check your FICO score last month and your VantageScore this month.
5 Reasons Why Your Credit Score Might Drop
It’s crucial to note that your credit is based on more than simply payment history, so a tiny reduction could be the result of an unnoticed shift in your credit. Here are five of the most typical reasons for a minor decline in your credit score.
1. Your Credit Card Balances Have Changed
Credit card balances are a key cause of modest decreases. Credit utilization—the amount of debt you have vs. your total available credit limit(s)—is a key element in credit scores, so if you used your credit card a little more this month than last, it’s possible those extra purchases are affecting your score. Keep a spare.
2. New Credit Applications
When you apply for a new line of credit, whether it’s a vehicle loan or a credit card, the lender will run a hard inquiry on your credit to determine if you qualify and what terms you’ll be offered. Because these questions account for 10% of your overall score, the difference is usually minor. Keep in mind that even if you decide not to proceed with the loan, the inquiry will remain on your credit report and score.
3. You cancelled a credit card account
You may have had an instalment account cancelled or decided to cancel a credit card with a $0 amount if you’ve been working on your credit and paying off debt. Both
4. Credit Report Inaccuracies
This could be the cause of your decline if an account was incorrectly added to your credit report or a payment was declared late by mistake. However, these typically result in higher losses in your score—particularly late payments—but if your score is already low, the drop won’t be as significant as it would be for someone with a high score.
5. The Algorithm for Calculating Scores was Modified
Credit score models are regularly changed and adjusted, and while the majority of these changes are tiny, some can have a minor impact on your score.
What Are Some Ways to Raise Your Credit Score?
So now you know why your score might have changed, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore any differences you notice. Here are four strategies to help you recover your credit after a setback.
1. Maintain a close eye on your credit report
A sharp decline in your score could indicate that you’ve been the victim of identity theft. It’s also possible that a mistake on one of your credit reports is harming your score. If you notice a drop, you may need to do some investigating to figure out what’s causing it. Start by getting your credit reports for free each year from AnnualCreditReport.com, which is a smart idea if you’re seeing a lot of differences in your scores.
You can also look at your history.
Credit.com also offers a free credit report card that is updated every 14 days. It reveals your credit score’s performance in five important areas: payment history, debt consumption, credit age, account mix, and queries. It can also help you figure out where you went wrong or what you need to work on to improve your score.
2. Pay off your debts
One of the finest things you can do for your credit score is to reduce your overall debt. This is because your credit usage ratio is one of your credit score’s most heavily weighted elements. Making a few extra payments can help you improve your credit score.
3. Maintain a good credit rating
Paying your bills on time accounts for a full 35 percent of your credit score, so it’s critical to prevent late payments. If you see a little drop and become disappointed, you may believe that missing one payment this month will not have a significant impact. Even one late payment, though, can lower your score by dozens of points.
4. Do not apply for credit that you do not require
It’s natural to be enticed by 0% loan offers or a credit card with a lower interest rate, but if you don’t need the extra credit, it’s smart to decline. Applying for new credit will lower your score even worse.