April 18th, 2011

Credit Karma Q&A: The Ups and Downs of Credit Scores

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“Why did my credit score go down?” and “How do I improve my credit health?” These are the two most asked questions in the Credit Karma Credit Advice center.

The answers to these credit score conundrums are usually specific to each individual and depend on each particular credit situation, but there are some common factors.

Here are some responses to these two notorious questions, straight from the savvy minds of our very own Credit Karma users.

Why did my credit score go down?

  • First thing to do would be to pull all three credit reports on yourself, to find out exactly why your scores are so low. Then, once you figure that out you can start reading the articles here to learn ways to reduce or eliminate the negative marks. (“Need a lot of credit advice“)
  • Here is a little advice for all of the people out there. When you co-sign a loan for someone else–be it your spouse or children–please remember that it affects your score as well. Because of 3 car loans and a mortgage that I co-signed for my credit score went from an 810 to a 549. They defaulted and I couldn’t afford to take on the payments. Please think before you co-sign for anyone. (“I have really poor credit, how can I begin to fix it?“)
  • You have to use credit to build credit. People with the best credit have a lot of history. (“Why is my credit score poor when I have never taken any loans out?“)
  • Any paid off loans within the last 6 months. Sometimes, the positive benefit of old loans decline over time. This is especially true if you have just a few accounts. For example, an old paid off auto loan’s benefit will go away over time, causing your credit score to drop even if you do nothing. (“Credit score dropped despite positive difference from last month“)
  • Don’t sweat the small credit score drops. Your auto loan caused a hard inquiry which will lower your score for a few months. (“How can you improve your credit health without going into debt?“)
  • You need a diverse mix of credit to prove to lenders that you can deal with different types of credit. (Credit Karma blog)

How do I improve my credit health?

If you’re baffled by credit scores, and other credit-related topics, head over to the Credit Advice center to check out other community discussions and submit a question today!

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. If i satisfy my judgment how will my credit score be affected?

    Azra at 7:13 pm on April 20, 2011
  2. I pay my bills on time every month like clock work and my score keeps going down? Your advice tells me to keep accounts from being closed and to use the cards to keep from loosing them because it will lower your score? All of my credit card accounts are paid off each month and do not have balances carried forward to the next month! Each card bill that is received the balance indicated is paid completely with whatever amount is owed! Nothing on any of the credit card amounts is ever carried over to the next month! So why is the is my credit score lowered? I pay them in full when I receive the bill? My usage of credit cards is less than 1% percent utilization of available credit which is below the norm, where the population my (peers are charging 4% or more of their available credit line so, why are you downgrading my credit rating, it does not make sense at all! I am a Disabled American Veteran that started buying a home 20 years ago & bills always paid on time Willie roberts age 77 Always pay on time 100% Experiain rating (799) Credit Rating Your rating is 762 which was lowered 7 pts today Willie Roberts Please reply!

    willie roberts at 6:14 am on June 19, 2013
  3. Jenna

    Hi Willie, credit scores can change for many reasons. Here’s a video on our blog explaining some of the common reasons why credit scores drop: http://blog.creditkarma.com/credit-101/credit-scores/why-did-my-credit-score-drop/

    Aw we pull the scores you see directly from TransUnion, we don’t have additional insight into why your score dropped, so the best thing to do is to continue to monitor your score and make good financial moves to improve your score.

    Jenna at 10:55 am on June 19, 2013
  4. My credit score dropped 16 points. I thought I remembered a place that you could see what affected the points to fluctuate. Could anyone direct me to see what affected it. Thank you.

    Kay at 7:57 am on January 28, 2016
  5. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Kay – Credit Karma cannot determine why your score changed. You can check out our blog on possibilities why it changed here, https://www.creditkarma.com/article/MyScoreDroppedWhy


    Enola Guerrero at 2:09 pm on January 28, 2016

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