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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,357
Registered: ‎03-20-2014
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(Theory) - 20% in 1 card and AU at $0 = DW score drop

[ Edited ]

 

I'm changing the title in this thread. Getting first 2 cards to 3 year mark, I think, it is not the reason that my DW EX score drop 16 points.

 

My theory is that an AU reporting a low balance (around $34) and not having cards at 20% helped her to get to 800.

 

Some data points:

- she got a 800 score with AU reporting $34 balance

- I paid the balance and Chase reported $0 mid cycle, her score went down 16 points

- she got one of her cards to 20% balance and her score dropped another 16 points

- now the AU reported $33 balance and her score increased 15 points (nothing else reported in the last 12 days)

- will pay down the cards, both of her cards will report 17.9% or less by then end of the month

 

What I think will happen:

a) her score will go up to around 800, this will make me think that a card at 20% hurt her score

b) her score will stay the same, I will guess this is because she is in a new scorecard by having her oldest account at 3 years

 

In 2 weeks will know if it is a) or b).

 

 

Original post:

First, I don't have a report yet, I will have one in 2 weeks. For now this is a guess game, you are welcome to participate.

 

DW EX FICO from Amex just reported a 16 point drop. That's a 32 point drop since mid December. In other thread I think the drop is related to an AU reporting $0 now. In a few days the same card will report the same balance that made the score go to 800.

 

What changed from 6 days ago?

- DW got her first 2 cards on 2/6/14

- one of the cards util changed from 17.55% to 19.38%. CreditGuyInDixie say FICO round up, so the card went from 18% to 20%

 

My guess is that her accounts in 2/1/17 are considered 3 years old. And some variable in FICO algorithm doesn't like that now her credit history is 3 years old and maybe her car loan is high for someone with 3 year old credit.

 

Maybe because 1 card reached 20%?

 

In 2 weeks she'll get a EX report/score. She can wait to see the changes from the AU reporting a small balance (to continue the test from the other post) or she can pay down her Discover card to 18% and ask them to do a mid-cycle report. What do you think it will be more helpful just to test?

 

I'm thinking about this options:

1) don't let the AU report a balance (report $0), pay down Discover to 18% and ask for mid-cycle report. This will prove that the change was for 2 accounts reaching 3 years (if FICO stay at 764)

2) let the AU report a balance, do not pay down Discover. If score jumps 16 points, then this is proof that the AU helped reach 800 back in mid-December

3) let the AU report a balance, pay down Discover, mid-cycle report. If score jumps to near 800 then this is proof that AU helped, Discover at 20% hurt and the cards at 3 years are irrelevant

4) let the AU report a balance, pay down Discover but let it report as always. This is a mix of point 2 and 3, in 2 weeks her score may go up for the AU and by the end of the month, if the score goes up again, then it is proof that Discover at 20% hurt her. If she only goes up a few point, then the 2 cards at 3 years still hurt her.

 

What do you think is the best test she can do? We don't mind much the score changes, we still learning and we don't have any mayor app coming up. This is helping us to know more about FICO and what to do to get the best score.

 

Notes:

- this is her lowest score in the last 7 months

- 2 EX HP will drop in March (I think they are not included in FICO anyway)

Community Leader
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,452
Registered: ‎07-17-2014
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Re: 16 point drop for crossing 3 years AoOA?

Can you confirm that these two accounts (opened on Feb 6, 2014) are in fact the oldest accounts (closed or open) listed on her reports?  You don't quite say that.  You say that they are her oldest cards. For example, if her first account was a student loan, opened in 2013, then they would not be her oldest accounts.

 

It is true that Age of Oldest Accounts is one of the three factors used in scorecard assignment (along with Age of Youngest Account and Total Number of Accounts).  Have either of these two other factors changed significantly in the last few months?  For example, did her Age of Youngest cross to 1 year?  It is possible that Age of Oldest turning 3.0 is some kind of breakpoint for scorecard assignment, so I wouldn't totally rule out your guess.

 

You mention that her individual utilization on one card changed (18% to 20%) but don't tell us how her total utilization changed.  If you are trying to speculate about util-caused changes the total is also important to know. 

 

I'll be honest, though.  You have so much stuff going on in your profile that temperamentally I would just be averse to trying to draw any conclusions from it.  My own personal belief (and this is often what actual scientists do) is they try to get all other confounding factors to be extremely stable and clear -- with exactly one factor (the one they want to test) to vary.  Then make a sharp clear unambiguous test.

 

I suppose if you put a gun to my head it would be to try to duplicate the conditions you speculate were in place at 11 pm Jan 31, including CC balances -- i.e. just shortly before the possible change to Age of Oldest.  (Are you certain, btw, that there were no changes to CC balances that occurred in the CRA databases between Jan 29 and Feb 4?)

 

But in truth there is so much stuff that sounds like is changing (AU cards, other cards, Age of Oldest) I would not trust my capacity to infer anything based on making more changes.

 

I will say that one thing that seem very improbable is that a card becoming $0 could be the source of a big score drop, which you believe is another possibility.  The only time that seem to happen is when all of the cards become $0, which you say is not the case.

 

I suppose my own (boring) take here is that there's really not a lot of cool new stuff left to uncover about FICO 8, which may be depressing for you to hear, since I see you and your wife want to be pioneering discoverers.  But in fact the stuff you want to test is pretty well known -- as far as practical actionable steps anyone needs to take for score improvement.  I.e. if you wanna optimize your CC balances, keep most of your cards at $0 with one reporting something small.  Allow your accounts to age.  Have a mostly paid off installment loan if you can.  Etc.

 

The cool thing to test might have been Age of Oldest turning 3, but so much other stuff was happening that that particular horse may already be outta the barn.

Community Leader
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,452
Registered: ‎07-17-2014
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Re: 16 point drop for crossing 3 years AoOA?

PS.  What are the ages of her AU accounts?  If those AU accounts are truly being attributed to her profile (and FICO sometimes decides to consider them as illegitimate, due to secret anti-abuse algorithms it has in place) then her Age of Oldest in all likelihood did NOT turn 3.0

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,357
Registered: ‎03-20-2014
0

Re: 16 point drop for crossing 3 years AoOA?

Thank you CreditGuyInDixie for all your information. Here is some more information:

- she started building credit in the USA with 2 cards that she got in February 2014

- both cards still open

- those 2 cards are the cards that have a balance

- other cards at $0, even AU

- all AU cards are younger 2 from March 2014, then 8 months later

- AAoA 2 years 2 months or so

- Newest account, should be 1 year 2 months now

- overall util 4%

 

Yes, it seems like a lot of changes, but it is interesting to me and just want to learn more about the changes.

 

TU FICO is only once a month with Discover and once every 2 months with Barclay. Her TU FICO is 790/Sep, 799/Oct, 800/Nov, 793/Dec and 794/Jan. Next score will be in the last week of February.

 

Now that she has access to more EX FICO, then she can see more ups/downs in few days apart, that is interesting but I can isolate (almost) the cause for the changes (or I think I do).

 

Her EX FICO was: 784/Dec-11, 800/Dec-14 (the only change: an AU card reporting $34 balance), 784/Dec-28 (AU reported $0), 784/Jan-13, 784/Jan-21, 784/Jan-25 and 768/Feb-1. The AU cards is a Chase card, I guess Chase reported the $0 balance after I PTZ before Dec-28.

 

Since Dec-28 until today only 2 cards reporting balance, the rest $0. 2 open cards now 3 years, one balance reported after Jan-25 from 18% to 20%.

 

I know I'm not using the report data from EX for every score change, the EX report is only once a month. I use data from CK to see changes in TU/EQ from week to week.

 

The information I try to find is not to be used in general, I know that my DW has a specific profile at this point and every month will change, as her profile ages, pay down the auto loan, BT and 0% card. More if she gets another card next month, that will change everything.

 

I'm just trying to find out if:

- the Chase AU card can help her this month

- if her 2 oldest open cards made her score go down

- if having 1 card at 20% instead of 18% change anything on her profile

All of this at this point in time. I know it will change in as little as 2 months.

 

This is not to change any general rule. Just for new people to know that there are other variables that apply to an individual profile.

Community Leader
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,452
Registered: ‎07-17-2014
0

Re: 16 point drop for crossing 3 years AoOA?

Good luck, pal.  I am sure you'll have fun regardless.

 

Best....

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,357
Registered: ‎03-20-2014

Re: 16 point drop for crossing 3 years AoOA?

Thank you CreditGuyInDixie, this is really fun.

 

My DW EX score jumped 15 points to 783. The only difference with 2/1 EX score is the AU reporting $33 (I paid a few cents more and didn't report $34 like the last time).

 

I'm fairly certain that, for my DW profile, the AU card reporting a balance helped her score. Nothing else changed in 12 days. No other new card with balance, no change in age, same 2 other cards with the same balance (they report around the 21 and 25).

 

Other interesting things:

- EX free score and report update after 30 days but until you login. The 30 days was up on the 12th but waited to the 13th to make sure that the AU reported.

- TU/EQ from CK don't have the AU report yet, they list the info from January

- Credit.com use EX, the balance they reported today were the sum of the 3 cards (the same 2 as 2/1 plus the AU)

 

Next test is to pay down the card at 20% to at least 17.9% to see if the score goes higher. I'll update this post by month's end.

 

Note: I'm not trying to prove that it is better to have an AU balance or every time a card goes to 20% it will hurt your score. I'm just trying to find what makes my DW EX score change. This is the last thing I can test, she will get a new card in March, so that will change everything. Back to square one after that.

Contributor
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎11-19-2016

Re: 16 point drop for crossing 3 years AoOA?


newhis wrote:

Thank you CreditGuyInDixie, this is really fun.

 

My DW EX score jumped 15 points to 783. The only difference with 2/1 EX score is the AU reporting $33 (I paid a few cents more and didn't report $34 like the last time).

 

I'm fairly certain that, for my DW profile, the AU card reporting a balance helped her score. Nothing else changed in 12 days. No other new card with balance, no change in age, same 2 other cards with the same balance (they report around the 21 and 25).

 

Other interesting things:

- EX free score and report update after 30 days but until you login. The 30 days was up on the 12th but waited to the 13th to make sure that the AU reported.

- TU/EQ from CK don't have the AU report yet, they list the info from January

- Credit.com use EX, the balance they reported today were the sum of the 3 cards (the same 2 as 2/1 plus the AU)

 

Next test is to pay down the card at 20% to at least 17.9% to see if the score goes higher. I'll update this post by month's end.

 

Note: I'm not trying to prove that it is better to have an AU balance or every time a card goes to 20% it will hurt your score. I'm just trying to find what makes my DW EX score change. This is the last thing I can test, she will get a new card in March, so that will change everything. Back to square one after that.


Ohhhh, you're one of those guys... Smiley LOL

 

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,357
Registered: ‎03-20-2014
0

Re: 16 point drop for crossing 3 years AoOA?

Discover did a mid cycle report at DW's request.

CK reported Discover new balance.

Credit Score Card updated but the score stayed the same.

The balance reported is only for 2 cards, I don't know why.

Next EX score will be Amex, it doesn't provide any extra info.

Full score/report in 20 days or so, by that time DW will app for other card, I'm sure they will pull EX, I'll not be able to find exactly what made her score change.

She will pay her auto loan a few days early, just to make them report 68.3% balance instead of 70% on March 1st.

 

Her report will change a lot in the next 2 weeks:

- 2 HPs will drop from her EX

- Auto loan going down from 71.6% to 68.3% 

- 1 new HP

- Maybe she will let another card report a balance (no need to micromanage now)

 

Thanks for watching Smiley Wink

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