August 23rd, 2012

Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

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It’s never a fun surprise to see that your credit score dropped. Unfortunately, you can’t always fix it right away, but you can sometimes figure out what might have caused it.

Score drops usually break down into three categories:

    • Things you did.
    • Things you didn’t do.
    • Things someone else did.

Here are some of the most common causes of drops:

  1. You closed an account, either by paying off a loan, or closing a credit card. Your credit history and available credit will change as a result.
  2. You opened, or tried to open a new account. Inquiries and new accounts will ding your score too.
  3. You’re spending more or paying off less. If your credit utilization at the point your creditors reported to the bureaus is higher than normal, your score might’ve dropped. If you missed a payment, that might’ve done it too.
  4. There’s a new derogatory mark on your history. Collections, tax liens, defaults… all these can do a number on your credit score.
  5. And of course, there could be a new mistake on your report. The best way to figure out what’s going on is to pull your credit reports. If there’s something wrong in your report, dispute it, and your score should improve.

It’s good to keep in mind that some fluctuations in your score might occur because there are a number of factors influencing it, but you shouldn’t be too concerned over small drops over a short amount of time.

To monitor for changes in your credit report that might affect your score, enroll in Credit Karma’s free credit monitoring and keep an eye on your credit notifications. This can help you pinpoint the reason for score drop.

Overall, continue practicing healthy financial habits and your score should recover.

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. Why is my account discontinued

    doug mullins at 1:58 pm on May 27, 2013
  2. Jenna

    Hi Doug, if you’re having trouble with your Credit Karma account, please feel free to email and we’d be happy to help you out. Thanks!

    Jenna at 3:16 pm on May 28, 2013
  3. Yes wondering why credit score has drop..

    tramaine white at 4:11 pm on July 29, 2014
  4. Mike

    Thanks for the question, Tramaine. There are a whole variety of reasons why credit scores might change, some of which are listed in this blog post. Since we don’t calculate your score but instead simply display what we receive from TransUnion, we unfortunately don’t have any additional insight into exactly why your score dropped. If you’d like some further reading, I’d suggest this article on the topic:

    Mike at 9:21 am on July 30, 2014
  5. My credit score dropped from 753 to 747 about two weeks ago, right after I paid off my mortage, and paid in full all credit debt. Currently the only debt I have is items I purchase monthly (gasoline, food/clothing purchases, utilities, etc.) and when I receive the credit card bill, it is paid in full. What’s up with that

    Judy at 2:27 pm on August 10, 2014
  6. What do you constitute as a “drop” in credit score over a short period of time. For me I started with 680 in 1/8/2014 then 687 in 2/20/2014 then 703 in 3/2/2014 and then 717 in 6/30/2014. This is great but today I logged on to creditkarma to find it went back to 704. I have 100% payment history. I did not open any cards. My utilization always falls under 15% if that. I watched the video about score drops but then I am wondering what is a “small” drop.

    Help…I am deeply concerned for I have worked SO hard since my bankruptcy in July 2003. I am happy that I have a decent score but I have to admit I am extra sensitive to the drops. It makes me think I am doing something wrong.

    Erica at 11:56 am on September 3, 2014
  7. Mike

    Thanks for the comment, Erica. I definitely understand where you’re coming from – when you’re trying to grow your credit score, any minor set back can be anxiety-inducing. I can’t specifically define “small drop” for you, but, as the video points out, month-to-month fluctuation isn’t uncommon. Keeping an eye on your credit health over the long term, which you seem to be doing a great job at, might be a better idea than stressing over this specific decrease.

    For some similar reading, I’d recommend this article:

    Mike at 2:32 pm on September 3, 2014
  8. So my credit score has been fluctuating dramatically in the past few months. In the past month it has dropped 32 points and we haven’t done anything different. Could you possibly tell me why and if not, tell me who I could ask that might give me the answers I’m looking for??

    Lori at 10:24 pm on September 5, 2014
  9. Mike

    Hi Lori – The credit score you see on your Credit Karma account comes directly from TransUnion. Since so many factors go into your credit score, it might not be possible to pinpoint one exact reason why your score decreased in the short-term. I’d suggest this article for further reading on the topic:

    Mike at 9:14 am on September 8, 2014

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