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My credit score seems to bounce back and forth over a 30'ish point gap. I have changed nothing (edit: that I know of).

  • I have the same number of credit cards
  • I've never had a late payment
  • I consistently have an overall credit utilization between 1% and 18%.

In fact, in the most recent reporting on Credit Karma, my overall credit usage was 16%, yet my score dropped by 36 points.

Do they score credit cards separately? For instance, I had ~28% utilization on one card and ~3% utilization on another card.

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  • 1
    Have you pulled your annual credit reports lately? The free ones? Are you quite sure all your lines of credit are being reported to all the agencies? Are you using another source besides credit karma? Quizzle? CreditSesame? (Also, could you tag your location?) – MrChrister Jun 12 '13 at 5:19
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    I'm not sure if all lines are being reported to all credit agencies, but Credit Karma is picking up on all lines of credit. I have added my location as a tag. Credit Karma is currently the only site I am using, but I will look into those other sites. Thanks for the suggestions! – Ryan Jun 12 '13 at 14:43
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A few things that may have changed over the time period listed:

  • Credit utilization - if you are going from 1-18% this could impact how an algorithm scores you in a sense.

  • Credit requests - How often are you having others do credit checks on you? If there are more inquiries, this could impact your score as if dozens of inquiries happen this could raise a red flag.

  • Utilities and other possible sources - While you never had card payments be late, is this also true of all your other bills? Perhaps someone else is adding something to your credit report here.

  • I was under the impression that utilization between 1% and 20% was considered ideal. I have had no credit inquiries in well over a year and my utilities are rolled into my rent, which I pay by check. – Ryan Jun 12 '13 at 16:30
  • +1 for Utilization. I suspect the 1% to 18% can account for 30 points. 30 points isn't that much in the overall. – MrChrister Jun 12 '13 at 16:31
  • Have you gotten a credit report recently to verify this? There could be cases where someone else is checking your credit without asking. – JB King Jun 12 '13 at 16:32
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    @Ryan - it is ideal, but JoeTaxPayer did some experiments once that showed 3% was the most ideal. But from the credit score point of view, good is good. 30 points isn't too big of a deal. – MrChrister Jun 12 '13 at 16:32
  • JBKing - Credit Karma shows the number of hard inquiries that have been made on your account. @MrChrister - I'm just worried that I may apply for something and the difference between a 720 and a 750 will matter, which is why I wanted to figure out why this happens or if it's a common thing for other people. – Ryan Jun 13 '13 at 17:19

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