Can someone PLEASE help me understand why this is happening? I have to work >very hard< making all payments on time for 6 months for the **bleep** scores to go up 5 points and then when I finally pay off an old account that was reported as CLOSED two years ago... the scores go down by 8?!?! I mean... why is pating this account off seen as a bad thing?!?! I'm so confused about this system
You're assuming a connection between 2 unrelated events.
MyFICO alerts don't provide reasons for a score change. There are certain events which trigger MyFICO alerts. If there happens to be any difference between your present score at that particular bureau and the previous score reported to you from that bureau, the score change is tacked on to the alert. There is not necessarily any connection at all between the score change and the alert substance.
MyFICO explains this in the "learn more" link contained in the alert:
"Why did my score go up when I got an alert for something negative (or why did my score go down when I got an alert for something positive)?
The short answer: Your FICO(TM) Score may change because of other events not monitored by an alert.
Whenever we send you a credit alert, we also send an updated FICO Score. To ensure you get the most current score, we calculate it based on your entire credit report at that point in time - not just the new information on the alert. This means your new score may reflect other changes that are outside of the things we watch for (see everything we monitor).
Sometimes you may see your score increase when you think it should've decreased, and vice-versa, but you'll always have your most up-to-date and accurate score."
@Remedios No, it was never reported as a charge off. Simply as a closed account with balance remaining. I've been paying it off for two years.
Is there any negative account that updated during previous 5 days?
Small changes like this can be atributed to utilization changes, number of cards reporting balances, and sometimes to dormant negative account updates.
You might want to look over fresh reports and see which accounts (opened and closed) had activity on them. Since we don't know the lag between EX updating and MF updating, I'd look at at least last 7-10 days.
When going over opened and closed accounts, look at Last Reported Date.
That might give you an idea on which change precipitated score change
@Remedios ok, thank you - this is helpful. I will track this down and figure out what happened.
One of the surest ways to drive oneself insane is to sweat exactly what caused your score to change by 8 (or some other modest number of) points.
The key problem is that while there have been some strong inferences on what drives FICO scores, and how FICO scores balances on closed accounts, etc., no one knows the precise relationships involved. Post details of your full report, and maybe someone will come up with an informed explanation, but from what you detail, there's no way of knowing with any reasonable confidence.
I suggest taking off the detective hat and stowing it away for when you have a questionable 20+ point score change on your plate. Even then, it's a haphazard task, but at least the subject under scrutiny has a little more substance to it.
Bottom line, there's no FICO Court of Appeals.
@hdporter I have to admit, you're speaking the words of wisdom here. Thank you. I'll try to calm myself down a little and see what happens next month!