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In October 2018, my wife's transunion credit score blipped down from a consistent 780 to a consistent 680. When I called to complain, Transunion noted that one of her credit cards seems to lag behind by a month in reporting her outstanding balance (which she pays off every month), but that's it. When I pointed out that at most this was a week-old issue, and asked what changed in October, they stonewalled me.

(Edit: to be clear, it is now 680 still; I wouldn't care if it had just momentarily dropped).

Something changed in October, but TU does not view it as their job to track historical values - only the present one. Is there any way to see a historical credit report (or magic words I can say on the phone with TU)? I'd like to cross-compare the October to the November one to debug it.

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    Are you already using tools and apps like (Credit Karma or credit scores provided by various credit card providers)? And to be clear, ever since Oct 2018 it has stuck at 680? Which means it wasn't a transient change that got fixed in a month? – perennial_noob May 21 at 0:03
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    There's no such thing as a "Transunion credit score". There's a Transunion credit report, along with Equifax and Experian. There's a number of FICO and VantageScore scoring models, which are models that take a credit record and output a score. FICO and VantageScore are independent of the bureaus, so TU has no control of how they interpret your record. – user71659 May 21 at 0:57
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    Credit score history is of no value. Is your score, right now, 780 or 680? No lender will care, or look to find out, what your score was 6 months ago. Further, unless you are shopping for a loan, your credit score is of absolutely no consequence. – quid May 21 at 1:46
  • Possible answer - Closed accounts can stay on your credit reports for up to 10 years and increase the average age of your accounts during that time. But once the account drops off your credit reports, it could lower this factor, and hurt your scores. The impact could be more significant if the account was also your oldest account. – topshot May 21 at 12:44
  • Have you gone to www.annualcreditreport.com to pull the actual reports from the three major agencies? – quid May 21 at 18:04
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I was hoping from a few clarifications from the OP but I'd like to start addressing a few points related to some concerns.

As @user71659 pointed out and like I hinted at in my question/comment the credit bureaus don't keep scores and so there is no history they can provide (heck, no present score too). There are some standard scoring models, some used more than others (FICO 9, FICO 5, VantageScore are a few that come to mind and there may be a comprehensive list somewhere online).

If you haven't already been doing, you should use:

  1. Credit Karma (unless you have reservations against signing up for services that may potentially use your data) or some such app/site. This gives you monthly scores based on a scoring model. So this may not be very accurate and it may lag by a month or 2 at times depending on how frequently Credit Karma polls the card/loan provider and how often they get the data refresh.
  2. Credit monitoring services that (these days) a lot of credit card providers provide for free. Again, these would be based on one model and most of them seem to poll Trans Union records. So if you have issues from Experian and Equifax, then these may not help. Credit Karma at least gives you tracking from TU and Equifax.

If your wife never missed a payment by 30 days or less (i.e. always paid at least min balance on time) the scores may dip for a month or two because of the refresh rate by the polling services (explained above). However, it should not be permanent. Your OP seems to note that that dip has persisted for more than 6 months now. That can only be because of a missed payment and other factors. So 2 cases:

  1. If there was never a missed payment, request reports from all 3 bureaus for free (once a year for free) and then inspect every single item to see if there is a mistake and then call the bureaus to report the mistakes. This may need follow-ups from the loan/credit providers confirming the mistake.
  2. If there was something wrong then the bureaus won't do anything. However, you could call the creditor and demonstrate that everything was eventually paid off and see if they could mark the late payment as on-time payment. This is possible and usually credit cards are lenient in reporting late payments unless it was more than 60 days or 90 days. Once this is done, you could call the bureau to confirm this.

All said and done, the scoring models differ and when you apply to new loans/mortgage they may or may not use a particular model but multiple and also look into reports for things that stand out like late payments, collections, avg credit utilization, income growth etc. So putting aside the fluctuations as normal there still is an indicator that there may be a mistake that crept in.

  • Anonymous downvote without commenting here to ask for edit or clarification. I guess that kind of thing flies on SE. – perennial_noob May 21 at 20:36
  • Credit Karma does not give free access to Experian data. But that's ok because you can get it straight from Experian (freecreditscore.com is operated by Experian themselves, just dodge the upsell attempts) – Ben Voigt May 22 at 4:05
  • Yes, edited my answer. At one point I was mentioning all three bureaus and ended up saying Experian for CK. – perennial_noob May 22 at 20:35

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