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Confirmed: AU balance = +16 points

Valued Contributor

Confirmed: AU balance = +16 points

This past month for the second time I saw DWs scores change 15-20 points when one of my cards reported a balance then $0 reported.

 

The weird thing is that if the AU card has a balance the score is 15-20 points higher than when the AU reports $0.

 

This is what we are going to try this month:

- let a balance report

- pull her EX FICO score

- pay the balance to $0 that day

- wait a week 

- pull her EX FICO again

 

All cards that were $0 last month will report $0. All cards with balance will report less balance (BT or 0% promo). Auto loan will report 1 more payment.

 

What I expect:

- increase of 15-20 points when the AU reports a balance

- decrease of 15-20 points when the AU reports $0

 

This is a Chase card, so the change will be reported in less than a week. We plan to do this in the next 2 weeks. Paying down the cards that will close in the next few days.

 

Maybe I missed something and other thing is at play.

 

Some notes:

- I don't see this happening with other cards (maybe because other cards will not report again when the balance is $0)

- getting scores more than once a month let us find this change

- she has a good score and not apping for anything

- this is something you can do when you are in the garden Smiley Wink

 

Will this test work? Anything I need to change? 

Message 1 of 19
18 REPLIES
Moderator

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory

The test seems legit at a second read, but the theory that the AU is counting and yet counting differently than a regular revolving tradeline is frankly a little surprising.

 

Are all other balances going to be held fixed (or close to) during this test?  Would be interested to know how many revolvers and ones with balances though it still doesn't make much sense even if EX in particular has always been wonky on that compared to both EQ and TU historically.

Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 758, EX 2 758, EQ 8 795, TU 8 762, EX 8 786 (7/28/17)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 750, TU 4 750, EX 2 750, EQ 8 800, TU 8 Blah, EX 8 800 (01/01/18)


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Message 2 of 19
Valued Contributor

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory

@Revelate, yes this is weird and probably the change is not from the AU card but now that my DW get more scores (both EX and TU) we can detect changes where a monthly score will not show the difference. Thanks to Chase reporting $0 balance, we can do this test with just a few days apart.

 

I'll try to keep things held fixed as possible and will report back with all the data.

 

She doesn't have much control with TU. Both Discover and BofA report 1 day apart. This past month Barclay reported a week later and she saw a 20 point drop also. The 18 got a TU FICO, I paid my card to $0 (her AU) and a week later Barclay reported 20 point drop.

Message 3 of 19
Valued Contributor

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory

Here is the information I have (score dates, statement date) and my plan:

- AU close date today

- I can pull EX FICO May 13 from Freecreditscore

- Discover TU FICO May 18

- BofA TU FICO May 19

- Discover EX FICO May 19

- Amex EX FICO May 25 or 26

 

I have 2 options:

a) Pull EX May 13 (with free report), see if score changed and AU has a balance, pay it to $0, by May 18 the $0 should be reported, confirm with CK pull

- This way I will only see an increase in EX FICO the 13th, then all other scores back to where it is now. Test concludes May 19.

b) Pull EX May 18, pull CK reports same day and May 25th

- This way I should see an increase in EX FICO the 13 and 19, TU FICO 18 and 19, and see a drop EX FICO May 25. I don't think Barclay will give a new score, they do it every 2 months or so. Test concludes as soon as Amex reports the score (a few days later)

 

Reports:

- EX report only from freecreditscore, once a month

- TU report from CK, once a week

- Next CK update in 2 days

 

Early termination:

- if I get a FICO score without an increase as soon as AU report a balance (May 13th or 18th), then the test proved the AU had nothing to do with the score change.

 

What do you think? I know this is not perfect but is the best I can come with.

Message 4 of 19
Moderator

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory

Also seems reasonable heh.

 

I'd probably hedge bets and pull on the 13th and then pay on option a, as at least Amex has skipped a month for me and I hate leaving things to chance; not sure there's really any data improvement for this test by taking option b but has some additional risk of a failed test.

 

Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 758, EX 2 758, EQ 8 795, TU 8 762, EX 8 786 (7/28/17)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 750, TU 4 750, EX 2 750, EQ 8 800, TU 8 Blah, EX 8 800 (01/01/18)


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Message 5 of 19
Valued Contributor

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory

@Revelate, today we pulled a free EX report and score (freecreditscore), the AU is reporting a balance ($68), here is some information:

- 04/13 EX score (FCS) 774 (AU at $64)

- 04/19 EX score (Disc) 758 (AU at $0)

- 04/26 EX score (Amex) 754 (AU at $0)

- 05/13 EX score (FCS) 770 (AU at $68)

 

I just paid the AU card to $0 but there is a pending transaction. I don't know if that will make the card $0 and report or the pending charge will make the card to have a balance.

 

I guess if Chase report $0 tomorrow and still a pending charge, I will be ok with this test. If I see a balance, I'll pay that again to make sure it reports $0 for next EX score update in 5-6 days.

 

CK will update on the 18th, I will see if the AU report $0 to TU/EQ.

 

As far as I can tell, no other card will change balance for the next 7 days. If the EX score drops 16 points it will only be because the AU changed from $68 to $0.

Message 6 of 19
Moderator

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory

What are the other cards reporting balances?  Another poster in a different thread suggested EX penalized him with just store cards reporting for example which might explain the variation here too... really struggling to come up with better rational other than there's something wrong with your other tradelines (unclosed dispute?) as AU's shouldn't behave like that.

 

Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 758, EX 2 758, EQ 8 795, TU 8 762, EX 8 786 (7/28/17)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 750, TU 4 750, EX 2 750, EQ 8 800, TU 8 Blah, EX 8 800 (01/01/18)


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Message 7 of 19
Valued Contributor

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory

9 open cards for her plus 4 AUs on EX. 1 auto loan 67% left.

7 cards at $0 including the only 1 store card she has.

So 6 cards with balance:

- less than 1% BBR

- 1% AU

- 11% BT will be $0 in August

- 12% (was 9%, I guess that is why she lost an extra 4 points between 4/19 and 4/26) PIF each month after statement date

- 14% 0% promo 

- 38% BT was 41% last month

 

No disputes.

 

 

 

In a few days the AU will be $0 and everything else will stay the same. I'll report back if the score drops to 754 or stay the same.

Message 8 of 19
Moderator

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory


newhis wrote:

9 open cards for her plus 4 AUs on EX. 1 auto loan 67% left.

7 cards at $0 including the only 1 store card she has.

So 6 cards with balance:

- less than 1% BBR

- 1% AU

- 11% BT will be $0 in August

- 12% (was 9%, I guess that is why she lost an extra 4 points between 4/19 and 4/26) PIF each month after statement date

- 14% 0% promo 

- 38% BT was 41% last month

 

No disputes.

 

 

 

In a few days the AU will be $0 and everything else will stay the same. I'll report back if the score drops to 754 or stay the same.


IF you would, test if which AU it does matters, and also what's the aggregate utilization with and without the AU?  Wonder if at $0 it's being excluded from revolving utilization metrics?  Pure SWAG based on what you've reported TBH.

Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 758, EX 2 758, EQ 8 795, TU 8 762, EX 8 786 (7/28/17)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 750, TU 4 750, EX 2 750, EQ 8 800, TU 8 Blah, EX 8 800 (01/01/18)


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Message 9 of 19
Valued Contributor

Re: AU card balance = 15-20 points theory


Revelate wrote:

IF you would, test if which AU it does matters, and also what's the aggregate utilization with and without the AU?  Wonder if at $0 it's being excluded from revolving utilization metrics?  Pure SWAG based on what you've reported TBH.


I will try to do that.

 

Anyway this is just for 'fun'. Credit is always changing and I only have 2 more months to test. One of her accounts will report $0 in August after 15 months with a BT.

 

I think credit score is very complex and sometimes, with a particular profile, could go up or down even if it doesn't make sense.

 

Let's say that when the AU is $0, no AU counted, her util will be 8.37%.

With this AU reporting 1% and only counting that AU, her util 7.88%

If all AU count, then less than 5.29% (don't know how to count a PRG, mabye 0/HB?)

 

We may change her Discover due date, so instead of reporting TU FICO on the 18th they will report on the 13th. That way next month I can do the test again and have EX and TU scores for the 13th and then 18th-19th. Unless the due date change takes 1 cycle.

 

ETA: Discover change will take effect 7/1

Message 10 of 19