Established Member
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
Why did my equifax score drop 12 points
My transunion score in August 2011 was 732 and equifax was 725. I just pulled my credit report today 1/10/2012 and my transunion stayed at 732 but my equifax is at 713. The only change that I see is that my credit card balance has been zero for a few months. Does not using credit cards and maintaining zero balance hurt your credit score?
Moderator
Posts: 16,481
Registered: ‎07-14-2009
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points

perfectscore wrote:
My transunion score in August 2011 was 732 and equifax was 725. I just pulled my credit report today 1/10/2012 and my transunion stayed at 732 but my equifax is at 713. The only change that I see is that my credit card balance has been zero for a few months. Does not using credit cards and maintaining zero balance hurt your credit score?


Welcome to the forums.

 

As a matter of fact showing all zero balances all the time will hurt your score. I know that seems counter productive but that's the way it is. It seems like what helps most people is to only have one of their credit card accounts report a small (<9% of it's credit limit) each month and let any other CC accounts report a zero balance.

 

 

 

From a BK years ago to:
EX - 3/11 pulled by lender- 835, EQ - 2/11-816, TU - 2/11-782

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem".

Established Member
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points
I still have mortgage and student loans that I make timely payments on. I just don't use my credit card (only have one). So you are saying that I should charge something (<9%) every month? Can I pay it off every month? I don't want to carry a balance on my credit card and pay unnecessary interest. Please help!!!! My new years resolution 2012 is to be at 750+ by the end of the year. But seeing my equifax score go backwards is really painful.
Moderator
Posts: 16,481
Registered: ‎07-14-2009
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points

perfectscore wrote:
I still have mortgage and student loans that I make timely payments on. I just don't use my credit card (only have one). So you are saying that I should charge something (<9%) every month? Can I pay it off every month? I don't want to carry a balance on my credit card and pay unnecessary interest. Please help!!!! My new years resolution 2012 is to be at 750+ by the end of the year. But seeing my equifax score go backwards is really painful.

You don't have to use it every month. Every 2-3 months will be fine. Even a $1 charge is enough to show activity. Then wait for it to report on your monthly statement and PIF (Pay In Full) before the due date and you will never pay a penny in interest.

 

 

 

From a BK years ago to:
EX - 3/11 pulled by lender- 835, EQ - 2/11-816, TU - 2/11-782

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem".

Established Member
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points
Thank you!!!! :smileyhappy:
Moderator
Posts: 16,481
Registered: ‎07-14-2009
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points

perfectscore wrote:
Thank you!!!! :smileyhappy:

You are very welcome. Another option is to use that card each month to auto pay a recurring bill (water, gas, cable, etc.) so you don't have to worry about how long it's been since you last used the card. I do this for most of my cards.

 

The same rule would apply. Wait for the charge to post and then PIF.

 

 

 

From a BK years ago to:
EX - 3/11 pulled by lender- 835, EQ - 2/11-816, TU - 2/11-782

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem".

Regular Contributor
Posts: 212
Registered: ‎06-20-2009
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points

It's also worth noting that the ding for all-zero CC balances is a particular specialty at Equifax.  I did a series of tests a couple of years ago of what the impact was, for both EQ and TU like your comparison.  I found my EQ FICO score went down by 4 points and TU FICO went up by 6, for all zero balances, compared to my usual situation maintaining a $10 balance on one card account.  I went through several cycles and found this pattern to be absolutely repeatable.  YMMV, of course.


Starting Score: EQ 804 - (April 2009)
Upgraded thanks to FICO Forums: EQ 813 / EX 842 / TU 823 - (FICO scores from mortgage lenders, June 2010)
Recent Scores: EQ 807 / TU 799 - (March 2012)
Goal: Survive Another Day
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Established Member
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points
I am sorry but what is YMMV?
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 32,869
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points

Your Mileage May Vary (e.g. there's nothing set in concrete and your results can vary)

New Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-15-2009
Re: Why did my equifax score drop 12 points

Hi Marine,

 

Could you please elaborate on why you say "wait for it to post", then pay? I googled around and researched. People said that you should keep your credit utilization to less than 20%. Does that mean, if I have 5 cards, with $2000 limit on each, my total utilization is $10000. So, I should try to keep a balance of $2000 or less across all of them?

 

Btw, I pay off my CCs in full every month.

 

Thanks so much for your time and help.