I’ve been using Credit Karma to keep track of my credit score, and last year it really helped me tweak some things and get my score up from Very Good to Excellent.
A few days ago I got a notification from the app that said my credit score dropped. So I logged in to the app to check what had happened. The explanation I got was that I recently carried a bigger balance on my credit card for one month than I had been previously. Yes, I know I used my card more than usual over the holidays, but I always pay off my balance, so why would charging more to my card affect my credit score? Does anyone know?
For the record, my score is still Very Good, but it *is* a bit lower than it was. I want to understand how the scoring works so I don’t make unnecessary mistakes in the future!
Lately I’ve noticed more and more dissatisfaction in the industry with how the credit score rules are working, and what they are rewarding vs. penalizing. There’s a need for reform, and especially ways for those who are not “playing the game” perfectly to get access to the credit they need to thrive. So we’re watching this issue closely at Sum180, and love to hear people’s stories that show where the fault lines are.
Specifically to your question, your intra-month balance is a factor, and those trying to improve their credit score can do so by making multiple payments during the month. So it’s not just the zero balance at month end any more. The lower the amount you use of the “available balance” you have across all types of credit being tracked, the better your score.