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Frustrated with FICO

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Valued Member

Frustrated with FICO

It is so frustrating trying to figure out how FICO updates their scoring. Paid off one of my cards (not a huge balance only a $200 balance) and my Victoria Secret card updated an auto credit limit increase they gave me and my score went down 4 points!! Like what the heck! At this point I just feel like throwing in the towel
7 REPLIES 7
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Super Contributor

Re: Frustrated with FICO

MF alerts are not always tied to the score changes.  The CLI you received is not related to the score drop, nor is a $200 balance payoff.  You lost 4 points for something else complete that simply isn't alertable.

Message 2 of 8
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Established Contributor

Re: Frustrated with FICO

Unless it is the only card with a balance, then paying it off could lose more than 4 points, but another event, such as crossing an account age threshold might have brought the score up at the same time, with a net -4.

Message 3 of 8
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Super Contributor

Re: Frustrated with FICO

A common confusion is to mistake FICO (who makes the scoring algorithm) for myFICO (which makes a credit monitoring tool that our OP likely has purchased).  It's best to think of them as if they were completely separate companies.  They are not, but you'll be less surprised if you think of them that way.

 

The makers of a credit monitoring service (and there are many of these CMS's out there) often create "alerts" that are triggered by changes to your report.  But the developers of a CMS don't know anything about how the actual scoring algorithm works.  And the "alerts" they give you only apply to some of the changes on a report -- many such changes are not alertable, as the other commenters have explained.

 

You may find that all these alerts are confusing and are (for you) not worth paying $40/mo for.  Many people decide that, though others like the myFICO product.  Brutal Body Shots and I are people who pay almost nothing for our scores and reports, but we nontheless get our scores and reports frequently.  There are lots of zero cost or ultralow cost approaches we can suggest if you are interested.

 

And of course, if you describe what is on your reports right now, any number of people here can explain what steps you need to take to improve your score.

Message 4 of 8
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Super Contributor

Re: Frustrated with FICO

I paid for a month of the myFICO service and was less than thrilled with it myself. 

 

Experian’s CreditWorks Plus is $9.99 a month for Experian monitoring and updates daily, $19.99 a month for 3-bureau monitoring with daily Experian updates. These prices are the prices offered in their app, the ones of the website seem to be higher. 

 

But you can get the app and get free monthly Experian updates for your report and FICO as well as a free score update when you get an alert on your Experian report too which makes the Experian app invaluable. Then I use WalletHub for daily TransUnion report monitoring (scores are not FICO so they’re useless) and Credit Karma for weekly Equifax monitoring (again, not FICO scores). 

 

If you have an app coming up, you can get a $1 trial of CreditWorks Premium from Experian any time, you log in to the website and it offers it to you. That’s what I do is get a trial once a month or so to pull my latest scores although now that my app interest is dwindling, I’ll probably stick with a free monthly Experian FICO since I get my TransUnion free from Discover. 



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Message 5 of 8
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Valued Member

Re: Frustrated with FICO

The only reason why I paid for the FICO scores is to get my mortgage score because I’m in the process of trying to get a loan for a house. But it is frustrating just getting alerts from it to show the scores are going down when I’m trying my best to make them go up
Message 6 of 8
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Super Contributor

Re: Frustrated with FICO

Let us know if you'd like help making your scores go up.

 

PS.  The alerts generate new FICO 8 scores, which are different from the mortgage scores.

Message 7 of 8
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Super Contributor

Re: Frustrated with FICO


@Leafjr21 wrote:
The only reason why I paid for the FICO scores is to get my mortgage score because I’m in the process of trying to get a loan for a house. But it is frustrating just getting alerts from it to show the scores are going down when I’m trying my best to make them go up

It's extremely simple for you to ensure your scores don't go down and that they're maximized for your upcoming loan.  Simply follow the following rules:

  • Never miss a payment
  • Keep your utilization low
  • Implement AZEO, meaning $0 reported balances on all but 1 revolving account, where it reports a small (say) $5-$20 balance
  • Don't apply for any new accounts
  • Don't take on any hard inquiries... so no HP CLI requests, or anything that could result in a HP

That's really it.  If anyone else has any obvious bullet point pieces of advice I'm sure they'll add them.

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