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Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

Established Member

Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

So...I just  paid off another credit card. I now have my total credit card utilization down to less than 1% from a high of 13%. 10 cards total; 7 have "0" balance,  3 still have very small balances. I subscribe to monhtly 3B, and so today I recieved updated scores reflecting the 0 balance now that this card has reported, and my Equifax score goes up 4 points, and my TransUnion score goes down 6 points. Both are reporting the same number of accounts and all else is equal, including total debt, except TransUnion shows 4 hard pulls, and Equifax shows 2 in the past 2 years. I can understand if both went up or both went down, but can anyone explain why the same paid off account would send my scores in 2 different directions? Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

11 REPLIES
Senior Contributor

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

First and most important, where are you getting your score from?  Since you mention only TU and EQ, I fear you may be referring to the VS 3.0 scores provided by Credit Karma, which are not FICO scores and should not be considered.

 

Paying down/off a credit card can never lower your score with just one exception, which is if you pay off your only credit card with a balance and that $0 balance reports.  If all cards report $0 balances, you'll see a score drop.  That score drop wouldn't be 4-6 points though; The score drop would be to the tune of 15-20 points typically.

 

You said you have 10 credit cards total and that 3 of them have small balances.  Are these reported balances, or current balances?  Remember that reported balances are what are looked at with respect to FICO scoring.

 

If you have anything from 2-4 cards with small reported balances, paying any 1 of them off and it reporting a $0 balance would have zero impact on your score since you'd still have 1-3 cards with small reported balances.

 

Also under most circumstances, a score gain from the above situation would be unlikely, since you were at below 50% cards with reported balances both before and after allowing another to report $0. 

 

 

Valued Contributor

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

Post:

 

  • Which credit monitoring site you use
  • If the 3B data shows the correct new balances
  • What the limits on each account were last month and what the limits are this month on each account
  • What the credit balance on each account was last month and this month
  • What the date of each inquiry is on each bureau

That'll help us look things over better.

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Established Member

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

Here are the answers to your questions:

1) MyFico Ultimate 3B  (Fico 8.0)

2)3B showing correct new balances

3 & 4)CrdtCrd Limits exactly the same this month as last month, and are as follows:

   Credit Limits:                   Lst Month Bal      This Month Bal

   Crdt Crd A $7000                             0                           0

   Crdt Crd B $1500                             0                           0

   Crdt Crd C $8000                             0                           0

   Crdt Crd D $4300                         138                          0

   Crdt Crd E $3000                          153                      153  (just paid this off, so next month will be "0")

   Crdt Crd F $1000                              0                          0

   Crdt Crd G $6250                              0                          0

   Crdt Crd H $5000                              0                          0

   Crdt Crd J $2900                             29                       29

   Crdt Crd K $8600                               0                          0

5) Inquiries:   Equifax   12/2015;  1/2016;  5/2016;  6/2016

                        TrnsUn    12/2015;  1/2016;  1/2017;  3/2017

Hope this helps. Thanks for your reply. Oh, by the way,  myFico just updated my Experian score, it relects the same above numbers, and my score just dropped 9 points. Grrrr!!!!!

Valued Contributor

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

Wow that's crazy goofy!

 

The inquiries on EQ are all counting as zero FICO points because they're over 12 months.  The TU inquiries are past the 6 month period where they hurt the most and those will count for less as they get to 12 months and then not at all.  So great job restraining your apping!

 

What's the age of your oldest account on EQ and on TU (open or closed, doesn't matter)?  

 

Also can you double check on EQ and TU to make sure you didn't get a CLD on any account without realizing it?

 

Are you an AU on any card that may have reported high util?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

Are any of the cards you have reported balances on AU accounts?

 

Also, the balances you listed are indeed reported balances correct? As in, that's the balance you see on your credit report, not current balance on your CC account.

Established Member

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

Yes, I agree. This is crazy goofy!! Don't get me wrong, my Fico 8 scores are still quite high, (EQ 800; TU 775; EXP 781), I just don't understand why EQ raies my score and the others lowered it. My goal was to see if I could get to 800 on all 3. In answer to your questions:

1) on both EQ and TU,  oldest closed : 9 years, 11 mnths. Oldest open: 2 yrs, 5 mnths.

2) no CLD on any account. 

3) I am AU on only one account, with $10 reported balance on $4500 CL.

I might add, that I've had some pretty bad credit prior to 2013, but all negative info has dropped off all 3 CB's, so there are NO negatives remaining on any of the 3. (I thought I'd mention this so there's no question why all my open accounts are less than 2.5 years old)

Established Member

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

I'm only an AU on one account not shown in my list. Last reported $10 on a $4500 CL.

Yes, these are all REPORTED balances, and yes they are correct!

I'm just as puzzled as you!

Valued Contributor

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

Haven't had coffee yet so my brain is a bit mush, but I believe one of the bureaus dings you for reporting balances on too many accounts at around the 1/3 point.  From scanning your account list I don't believe this to be true but maybe it's possible if you have an AU reporting a balance that you're at 3/9 or something like that -- and reporting balances on 1/3 of your accounts may ding you on that bureau.  Maybe it's TU that does the ding on 1/3 -- do you have a reason code of "balances on too many accounts" on TU?

 

What are your reason codes on EQ and TU, btw?

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Established Member

Re: Paid off Credit Card, so Equifax score goes up, TransUnion score goes down, WHAT??!!

First off, thanks so much for your replies and input. It is much appreciated! The reasons I have been getting over the past year are always the same. 1) relatively short revolving history, and 2)Lack of recent installment loan history. I guess I should be thankful (and I am) that I even have the high scores that I do considering my older past history. I'll just take the great advice, and keep a small balance on only one credit card account at a time, and just see what happens as my accounts age. Thank you agan!