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.
Updated August 4, 2014 and originally published August 24, 2010.