August 23rd, 2012

Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

29 Comments | Twitter | |



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 could 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
  10. I have a concern regarding one Visa credit card account. I’ve had the account since 2011 and just received a new card due to the Home Depot situation.

    The following is showing on my Credit Report Activity on CreditKarma and wonder if this will affect my credit score on this one card I have.

    Randal at 9:12 am on October 8, 2014
  11. Mike

    Hi Randal – Thanks for your question. Our member support team would be happy to investigate this issue for you. You can get in touch with them here:

    Thanks again!

    Mike at 9:03 am on October 9, 2014
  12. If a bank closes an account and reopens it on a different line for which i am unaware of the change, as discover did this past month and one of my the other banks that had 4 or 5 store accounts in it, did the same thing a month or two by changing their bank name or merging. do these add and drops for the same credit limit amounts affect my credit score?

    sue at 7:43 am on October 10, 2014
  13. Mike

    Hey Sue – Great question. We actually wrote an article about this topic very recently. Check it out here:


    Mike at 8:51 am on October 10, 2014
  14. I am having a really hard time understanding credit Karma’s procedures. I became a member of credit Karma in March 2014. My credit line at that time or credit numbers were 713. The next time the system checked on everything my credit line had risen to 721. The next month I had a small dip in my credit numbers to 718. At this time without making hardly any changes my credit numbers rose to 738. After several months of no change I logged in today and found that with no changes in my credit the numbers had dropped to 700 even. I do not understand this whatsoever? What gives on these numbers? Do you folks have a dartboard at the other end of the room that you throw darts at? Or is there a method to the madness I am seeing? At least with my fico being 799 if I were to ask for a new loan for my house so that my interest on it would go down. I might have a ghost of a chance. Why after several months of my credit numbers being 738 would my credit score dropped to 700 even?
    Thank you

    D Ray East at 9:54 am on October 15, 2014
  15. Mike

    Hey Dray – Thanks for your comment. The credit scores you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. Because of this, and because of the complexity of the scoring system, we can’t necessarily pinpoint one cause for the drop in your credit score. I’d recommend this article for some general reading on why credit scores change:

    Mike at 4:36 pm on October 15, 2014
  16. I think my score dropped for two reasons. two inquiries that are not legit and I paid off several bills and closed accounts after my husband died. why does paying off bills and closing account, while you do leave an active account open, lower your score drastically. plz advise. vickieclay

    vickieclay at 3:38 pm on October 28, 2014
  17. Mike

    Hey Vickie – I’m sorry to hear about your loss! Regarding your credit score, generally speaking, closing old accounts can lower your average age of credit history and potentially raise your credit card utilization, both of which could lower your credit score. I of course don’t have insight into your specific situation, though, so I couldn’t advise specifically on why your score dropped. You can check out this article for some more information:

    Mike at 8:51 am on October 29, 2014
  18. I opened a new credit card, and I understand that can lower my credit score. My overall credit limit was increased by nearly $6000 in he last 2 weeks, yet my score dropped 39 points in that time. Nothing else has changed. Is it typical for a score to drop from 741 to 702 in this situation? I was hoping it would increase after these changes.

    Ryan at 12:07 pm on November 4, 2014
  19. Mike

    Hey Ryan – While we can’t pinpoint the exact reason for your score decrease, it’s not uncommon for scores to drop after opening a new account. A new credit card often comes with a new hard inquiry and possibly a decrease in your age of credit history, both of which can lower your score in the short-term. You can read more about this here:


    Mike at 10:24 am on November 5, 2014
  20. I am trying to get an answer as to why my credit score dropped 39 points in one month after being stable all year and no changes except paying down balances overall… This is quite frustrating. Who do I contact?

    Kim at 2:39 pm on November 10, 2014
  21. Mike

    Hi Kim – I’m sorry to hear about your frustration. Since the scores on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion, we don’t necessarily have insight into why your score dropped. I’d recommend this article for further reading:

    Mike at 9:08 am on November 11, 2014
  22. what is home insurance score and it dropped from a 930 to a 823 for unknown reason my home insurance is auto pay

    David at 9:39 pm on January 15, 2015
  23. Mike

    Hi David – Thanks for your question. You can read more about home insurance scores here:


    Mike at 12:11 pm on January 16, 2015
  24. I am not happy with your new system at all. My credit score has decreased from 707 to 633. I pay everything on time and am never late. In fact I have been working hard to pay off accounts in order to decrease my credit. I have paid off some and should have three more paid off by this fall. So why have the score decreased and have gone from a good to a fair score? I am paying more on some accounts in order to get them paid off. I have been careful no to add to my credit.

    Shirley at 2:13 pm on February 18, 2015
  25. Mike

    Hi Shirley – I’m sorry to hear about your score! What you’re seeing is a brand new credit score, determined using a completely different scoring model (VantageScore 3.0). If you’d like to learn more about why your score may have changed with this switch, you can read more about that here:

    Our member support team would also be happy to follow up with you about any questions or any feedback you may have. You can find them here:


    Mike at 4:31 pm on February 18, 2015
  26. My credit score dropped almost 100 points in September and I cannot figure out why. I am never late with payments, and don’t really have any crazy amount of debt. The only reason I could see was a couple inquiries and a little more spending on credit cards than usual from the holidays. Would that really be enough to drop it 100 points? seems like a lot.

    Josh at 2:30 pm on February 23, 2015
  27. hi my credit was 696 its down to 650

    Ramzi at 11:09 am on February 24, 2015
  28. Mike

    Hi Ramzi – I’m sorry to hear that! This change in your score might have been due to our switch to VantageScore 3.0. You can read more about that here:


    Mike at 4:09 pm on February 24, 2015

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