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I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while - I’ve been engaged in a credit repair campaign for several years now and it often seems to me that the credit bureaus are actively changing how my score is calculated to keep my score suppressed.

For instance - I’ve always read that keeping your total credit utilization below 10% is considered excellent. So I opened a bunch credit lines, stuck them in a shoe box, there is now no way I can ever exceed 10% of my credit line. Then one day my scores drop 96 points and I discovered that the rules had changed so that if any one of my cards had more then 30% utilization then I get penalized. So the dinky card with a 1k credit line I use for reoccurring bills, that is always at around 70% utilization, is now killing my score even though 1k is a slim fraction of my total credit. I’ve never heard of this happening to anyone else.

Paying off a mortgage is a big deal but everything I’ve read says it should not impact your score more then a couple points either way. I paid off my mortgage last month and this month, the day it is reported, my credit score plumits by 84 points - the mortgage account closing is the only change. Completely unexpected.

Ive had a discover card account for almost twenty years, about a year ago all of my payment history prior two two years ago vanishes. As each month’s payment is reported the payment two years prior drops off. I’ve done multiple fcra complaints with all three bureaus and they always come back saying that the reporting is correct. I’ve never read of this happening before and it doesn’t happen for any other account.

Has anyone had any similar experiences? Are there huge shifts in how credit scores are calculated going on that nobody talks about?

 

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Credit Karma and Wallethub, they both agree with each other - the former only updates weekly but includes TransUnion and Equifax, and the later is daily but only includes TransUnion. In general the TransUnion and Equifax numbers agree with each other. I can only get Experian monthly and it’s number tends to be different - it updates at a different time of month and catches some balances that I always pay off before reported to the first two, seems to trend in the same direction as TransUnion and Equifax but doesn’t have the 90 point swings I see with them if it happens to catch a low limit card highly utilized.

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1.  Credit Karma and Wallethub scores are not guaranteed to be your real scores.  When I have gotten my real scores, they were almost always different from my Credit Karma scores.  Credit Karma is merely an approximation.  Your CK score could go up when your real scores go down, and visa versa.  You say you see one of your real scores sometimes, and that one doesn't change as much.  Maybe because it is a real score.  

2.  The rules do change, but sometimes it is because they are not what you think they are.  Total utilization and utilization per card have always been factors, even if you didn't realize that.  

3.  There IS a way to raise your credit score, if you really want to.  The dinky little card you are almost always at 70% utilization?  What you need to do is pay it off right before the end of cycle, and NOT at the due date.  You could set up an automated payment that way.  If you pay it in full before the end of cycle, it shows considerably less utilization, perhaps zero.  Or, you could find a really high limit card, and pay that off every month.  

4.  Why are you so worried about your credit score?  Unless you need to buy a house soon, your main goal should be improving your financial situation.  Then, if you do want to buy another house or make some other major purchase, you will have the money you need.  At that point you can figure out what the tricks are for getting your credit score higher.  There are people who know these things pretty well.  I am not one of them.  

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1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

You say you see one of your real scores sometimes, and that one doesn't change as much.  Maybe because it is a real score.  

This. Forget about any "score" that doesn't come from myfico.com.

1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Unless you need to buy a house soon, your main goal should be improving your financial situation. 

And also this. "Manage debt, not FICO." If you need credit, pay your balances down and keep them there for a at least a month before applying for anything. If you have no negative info on your report, you'll have no problem getting approved. 

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