I receive monthly credit card scores from my bank. After trending upwards, both scores have stopped moving. The bank score is a nice round number with 2 zeros and hasn't changed in 3 months. It seems very unlikely that nothing has changed in my credit history that wouldn't move this number (I consistently pay student loans and zero out credit cards but there is still variability in my credit habits such as how much credit I charge in a month). Why would my score stop moving even a point? I'm wondering if there is a cut off gate that has some criterion that I have not met that disallows me from moving beyond where I'm at, but that is just a guess.
TL;DR Because your credit use isn't changing.
The exact formula used to calculate a person's credit score is a proprietary secret, but it's well-known that some of the factors that influence the calculation are:
- Payment history (do you make/miss payments that are due?)
- Amount of credit (loan amounts, credit card limits)
- Utilization (amount of credit actually used/owed)
Likely you've reached a point where your monthly changes/fluctuations are small enough not to make an impact. There are other factors, but these are easy to look at.
Utilization: You say there is variability in terms of how much you charge each month (I assume credit/charge card(s)); this would fall under utilization. If this variability is on the order of sometimes you charge $50 and sometimes you charge $80, but your credit limit is $3000, that difference is only 1% of your credit, and likely makes no difference in score. Since you say you pay the card off completely every month, I assume the amount used is rather low. Note also that the utilization is based off of what the credit issuer reports as your usage (amount owed vs. total credit), which is typically reported once per month and may or may not be reported at the same time as your statement date. This factor is likely very stable.
Amount of credit: You only mention student loans and credit cards. Unless you're currently in school, you generally don't add to the amount you owe for student loans, especially if you're making all payments on time. You don't mention any other recent increases in credit or new loans, so it's likely that this factor is pretty stable as well.
Payment history: You say you are consistent with making payments that you owe. This is good, and will help your score. It sounds like this factor is currently stable. What you don't mention is how long you've been doing this. There's a pretty big difference between making one payment on time and making a year's worth of payments on time, but not so much between making 8 years' worth of payments on time and 9 years' worth. You don't mention anything indicating credit history length. It's possible here that your credit score rose as you established a pattern of consistent payments, and has ceased rising because each additional month has become a less significant data point.
You don't mention what your score is, or even whether it is high/"good" score or a low/"bad" score, but you do ask about cutoff gates, so I feel inclined to mention bankruptcy, which will stay on your credit report for 7 years.
The FICO score from Wells Fargo is based on data from your Experian report, and the FICO score from Citi is based on data from Equifax.
Here are a couple of ideas not mentioned in yoozer8's answer:
Both banks claim to update your credit score monthly. However, a post on the myFico forums (a forum for people obsessed with credit scores) reveals that scores from Citi have failed to update for a period of months in the past. It could have happened again.
You mentioned that you "zero out credit cards." Credit cards generally report a balance to the credit reports monthly. If your credit card happens to be reporting a balance when the balance is zero and this happens a few months in a row, your revolving credit utilization will be identical (at 0%) for those months. My understanding is that the balance on your student loans is not as significant in your score.
By the way, I would encourage you to not worry about your credit score. The best way to improve your score is to pay off your debts and pay your bills on-time repeatedly for years. At that point, your score will be fine.