I am a supporter of Credit Karma, a free service that shows you your TransUnion credit score, among other things, as many times as you want. Lately it seems like it hasn’t been working. It’s been reporting a FICO for me of 732 since March, and I’ve made what I feel are dramatic differences to my credit situation from January through August. I’ve paid off about $6,000 in credit card debt, but the score hasn’t gone up or down a single point.
A few years ago, when my credit situation was even worse, I used to dream about a score over 720, because that would’ve put me in Excellent Credit territory. Unfortunately, there was a worldwide credit crunch, and now you need to have a score of at least 750 to be considered an excellent credit risk, or in other words, not really risky. I hadn’t reviewed my credit reports in quite a while, so I went to AnnualCreditReport.com to look for reasons why it isn’t higher. After reviewing all three free reports, I found one credit card account that was 30 days late, once, back in April 2006.
I know that CreditKarma isn’t broken, because it’s reporting changes to my accounts correctly, but the score is frustratingly stuck. What’s worse, when I use their Credit Simulator to see what actions could positively or negatively affect my credit, there is nothing that will make it go up. I tried simulating:
- adding a new card with a $10,000 limit
- increasing a credit limit on an existing card by $50,000 (I picked a ridiculous number because nothing lower worked)
- increasing my on-time payment history by 24 months
None of that helps.
So, I started hoping that CreditKarma’s calculations weren’t too trustworthy. Unfortunately, the only way to check that would be to purchase a credit score from one or more of the three agencies that provide them. After looking for reasonable options—getting a free score but being auto-enrolled in a $14.95 monthly program is not reasonable—I went to MyFICO.com and ordered my credit score for TransUnion. It’s still 730.
I am at a loss. I was hoping that drastically reducing my revolving credit balances would make a positive impact to my credit score, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. On the upside, now I know that CreditKarma’s FICO is very close to the score that TransUnion provides, and that the credit nightmare I went through with Verizon Wireless has finally fallen off my credit report.
Actually, there is one more silver lining. Equifax has a much higher impression of my credit history. They put me at a 773, which is in their highest bracket.
But their highest bracket starts at 760, which it seems like I could easily slip under at any moment. My credit-to-debt ratio is 27%, my credit history is 19 years old and in what I think is very good standing, nothing has been late in over four years, and I’m confused. I’m open to any advice, if you have it.