Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

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JD2775
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Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:57 pm

About a year and a half ago I was one of the victims of the Equifax breach. I froze my credit at the time to be safe. October 2017 I briefly opened it back up to apply to an apartment rental, and they needed to check my credit. It was 795 at the time. I re-froze my credit right away after the check was done and it has been frozen ever since.

Fast forward to today, I signed up for IDnotify, a free monitoring service from Experian. After I finished registering I ran my credit report just for the heck of it. My credit score is now at 724.

I have no idea how it could have dropped so much given that it has been frozen this whole time. I checked individual tabs for credit cards, any late payments etc. All I have on there is one late payment back in 2012(< 30 days) for a Visa card I used to have. So obviously it can't be that. Everything else is "green". It also reported no suspicious activity.

Any ideas how it could have dropped so much?

MotoTrojan
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by MotoTrojan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:00 pm

JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:57 pm
About a year and a half ago I was one of the victims of the Equifax breach. I froze my credit at the time to be safe. October 2017 I briefly opened it back up to apply to an apartment rental, and they needed to check my credit. It was 795 at the time. I re-froze my credit right away after the check was done and it has been frozen ever since.

Fast forward to today, I signed up for IDnotify, a free monitoring service from Experian. After I finished registering I ran my credit report just for the heck of it. My credit score is now at 724.

I have no idea how it could have dropped so much given that it has been frozen this whole time. I checked individual tabs for credit cards, any late payments etc. All I have on there is one late payment back in 2012(< 30 days) for a Visa card I used to have. So obviously it can't be that. Everything else is "green". It also reported no suspicious activity.

Any ideas how it could have dropped so much?
Are these scores from the same agency/report?

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:01 pm

MotoTrojan wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:00 pm
JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:57 pm
About a year and a half ago I was one of the victims of the Equifax breach. I froze my credit at the time to be safe. October 2017 I briefly opened it back up to apply to an apartment rental, and they needed to check my credit. It was 795 at the time. I re-froze my credit right away after the check was done and it has been frozen ever since.

Fast forward to today, I signed up for IDnotify, a free monitoring service from Experian. After I finished registering I ran my credit report just for the heck of it. My credit score is now at 724.

I have no idea how it could have dropped so much given that it has been frozen this whole time. I checked individual tabs for credit cards, any late payments etc. All I have on there is one late payment back in 2012(< 30 days) for a Visa card I used to have. So obviously it can't be that. Everything else is "green". It also reported no suspicious activity.

Any ideas how it could have dropped so much?
Are these scores from the same agency/report?

I believe Experian was used when checking my credit for the apartment rental, yes.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:02 pm

Run credit karma. I find it's pretty useful in tracking down why a score moved.
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Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:07 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:02 pm
Run credit karma. I find it's pretty useful in tracking down why a score moved.
I just tried. They won't let me run the report because my credit is frozen. I guess Experian let me because I froze it with them?

viz
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by viz » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:14 pm

Are you using high percentage of the the credit? I had a big spend recently and my credit score went down 50 points. I paid of within grace period

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:17 pm

viz wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:14 pm
Are you using high percentage of the the credit? I had a big spend recently and my credit score went down 50 points. I paid of within grace period
Good question, but no. I have one credit card that generally sees no monthly balance higher than $1500 (which gets paid off during the month), on a $25k limit.

No big purchases in the last year.

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prudent
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by prudent » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:21 pm

Perhaps different scoring models? FICO vs VantageScore, and/or different industry-specific score versions (you can have one FICO score for a mortgage and a different FICO score for financing a car, etc.).

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:26 pm

prudent wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:21 pm
Perhaps different scoring models? FICO vs VantageScore, and/or different industry-specific score versions (you can have one FICO score for a mortgage and a different FICO score for financing a car, etc.).
Who knows, perhaps? Maybe it's nothing to get worked up over

RickBoglehead
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:29 pm

I'm not aware that freezing one's credit has any impact on your credit score.

A credit score represents one point in time, and every provider's might be different. In the past 18 months, things have changed that actually are supposed to RAISE credit scores, not lower them.

I'd suggest you pull the free credit reports from each bureau and see what you see.

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fortfun
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by fortfun » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:29 pm

JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:57 pm
About a year and a half ago I was one of the victims of the Equifax breach. I froze my credit at the time to be safe. October 2017 I briefly opened it back up to apply to an apartment rental, and they needed to check my credit. It was 795 at the time. I re-froze my credit right away after the check was done and it has been frozen ever since.

Fast forward to today, I signed up for IDnotify, a free monitoring service from Experian. After I finished registering I ran my credit report just for the heck of it. My credit score is now at 724.

I have no idea how it could have dropped so much given that it has been frozen this whole time. I checked individual tabs for credit cards, any late payments etc. All I have on there is one late payment back in 2012(< 30 days) for a Visa card I used to have. So obviously it can't be that. Everything else is "green". It also reported no suspicious activity.

Any ideas how it could have dropped so much?
Did you close any accounts? Removed as a card co-user?

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:32 pm

fortfun wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:29 pm
JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:57 pm
About a year and a half ago I was one of the victims of the Equifax breach. I froze my credit at the time to be safe. October 2017 I briefly opened it back up to apply to an apartment rental, and they needed to check my credit. It was 795 at the time. I re-froze my credit right away after the check was done and it has been frozen ever since.

Fast forward to today, I signed up for IDnotify, a free monitoring service from Experian. After I finished registering I ran my credit report just for the heck of it. My credit score is now at 724.

I have no idea how it could have dropped so much given that it has been frozen this whole time. I checked individual tabs for credit cards, any late payments etc. All I have on there is one late payment back in 2012(< 30 days) for a Visa card I used to have. So obviously it can't be that. Everything else is "green". It also reported no suspicious activity.

Any ideas how it could have dropped so much?
Did you close any accounts? Removed as a card co-user?
No and no.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Even if you didn't close any accounts - check your yearly reports and see if any were closed on you (due to lack of activity).
I have one card with a $45K Limit and assume if its closed it can make my credit-utilization rise enough that it could impact my score (so try to use it once yearly - not that I really need my credit anymore).

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lthenderson
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:51 pm

My credit reports have been frozen for a couple years and I get perhaps two notifications a month of credit score changes, sometimes lower sometimes higher. The notification never specifies how much my score has changed, only that it has and what direction. I suspect it has something to do with my credit card balance and available credit I can borrow. I never have actually checked to see how much my score fluctuates since my score isn't important to me.

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:52 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm
Even if you didn't close any accounts - check your yearly reports and see if any were closed on you (due to lack of activity).
I have one card with a $45K Limit and assume if its closed it can make my credit-utilization rise enough that it could impact my score (so try to use it once yearly - not that I really need my credit anymore).
There were 2 accounts it looks like that were closed in Feb 2018. Macy's account and AMEX account (which I dont even remember having, apparently I opened it in 2009 and never used it). Maybe those are the culprits. If so, I hope it can rise again after a certain period of time....

**EDIT** correction, the AMEX is actually tied to the Macy's account. I verified that. So it looks like only a Macy's AMEX account that closed due to inactivity

yoyo6713
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by yoyo6713 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:59 pm

JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:57 pm
About a year and a half ago I was one of the victims of the Equifax breach. I froze my credit at the time to be safe. October 2017 I briefly opened it back up to apply to an apartment rental, and they needed to check my credit. It was 795 at the time. I re-froze my credit right away after the check was done and it has been frozen ever since.

Fast forward to today, I signed up for IDnotify, a free monitoring service from Experian. After I finished registering I ran my credit report just for the heck of it. My credit score is now at 724.

I have no idea how it could have dropped so much given that it has been frozen this whole time. I checked individual tabs for credit cards, any late payments etc. All I have on there is one late payment back in 2012(< 30 days) for a Visa card I used to have. So obviously it can't be that. Everything else is "green". It also reported no suspicious activity.

Any ideas how it could have dropped so much?
Check your utilization. Anything above 40% could have a dramatic impact. For an example if you have a CC that only has a 500 limit and you charge 400 your score will drop 50-100 points, I think.

othermike27
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by othermike27 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:01 pm

Check your online credit score and reports with each of the three majors: Experian, Equifax, Transunion. They (and other info sources like Credit Karma) usually indicate which factors or events affect your score most (positive or negative). You can see your report for free with each one, so start there. To get scores may cost a small fee. A drop from 795 to 724 is big enough to need an explanation. Might even try to call them to see what they say.

A friend of mine applied for a new credit card and was denied because he had frozen his records. He decided not to bother with the new card, then saw that his score dropped 20 points because a lender had denied him credit. :oops:

bluquark
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by bluquark » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:03 pm

As someone minimalist with the amount of revolving credit I hold, I’ve seen moves that large purely from credit utilization ratio. Credit utilization incorporates amounts that you aren’t required to pay yet. Autopay on some banks doesn’t seem to have the option of aggressively paying off but rather “helpfully” pays off the statement balance on the date due, which can results in 60-day accumulation of charges and quite a lot of natural movement in credit utilization.

You can fix it by either applying for more cards or higher credit limit so that your normal charge volume is smaller on a % basis, or if you anticipate an imminent credit application, go online to manually fully pay off your card(s) before you do it.

michaeljc70
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:14 pm

As others indicated, if there has not been adverse credit information added, it is probably due to a different scoring model or different bureau. My scores range from 813 to 846 based on the free scores I have access to.

There could also be minor credit differences with things dropping off your credit report (since it seems you didn't add anything). How about card utilization %? That can ding your score.

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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by nisiprius » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:16 pm

Odd. I froze my credit score in 2017 in the wake of the Equifax breach, with no obvious effects. My credit score, which I get free from my credit card company, is said to be a "Transunion" score (of some kind). It has stayed in the range 793-802 over the past three years.
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NewOldGuy
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by NewOldGuy » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:36 pm

Closed accounts take 10 years to age off. Your average age of accounts took a hit. Also your total credit declined, so your usage percentage increased.
JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:52 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm
Even if you didn't close any accounts - check your yearly reports and see if any were closed on you (due to lack of activity).
I have one card with a $45K Limit and assume if its closed it can make my credit-utilization rise enough that it could impact my score (so try to use it once yearly - not that I really need my credit anymore).
There were 2 accounts it looks like that were closed in Feb 2018. Macy's account and AMEX account (which I dont even remember having, apparently I opened it in 2009 and never used it). Maybe those are the culprits. If so, I hope it can rise again after a certain period of time....

**EDIT** correction, the AMEX is actually tied to the Macy's account. I verified that. So it looks like only a Macy's AMEX account that closed due to inactivity

pdavi21
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by pdavi21 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:38 pm

If it's past the two year anniversary of paying off a non credit card debt, that'll drop your score. (Different types of credit checkbox).

dustinst22
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by dustinst22 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:49 pm

Couple keypoints:

- There are three credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. FICO has numerous versions of its scoring model for each individual bureau. Unless you are comparing apples to apples (same bureau + same version), then it's impossible to know if your score really has dropped "dramatically".

- Someone recommended Credit Karma. While useful for some purposes, it uses VantageScore, which can vary significantly from FICO. I've seen Vantage vary as much as 80+ points when compared to FICO. Because of this, many people mistakenly think their FICO score is significantly higher than it really is. Even within one specific Bureau, you can see significant variation in FICO scoring depending on the model version being looked at.

-While FICO is the most commonly used credit scoring model, it's not always used. It's quite common for rental companies to use a completely different scoring model (such as Vantage) as it's less expensive.

The above points explain the most likely reason for why your score is different than what was pulled by your apartment. That said, the most common reason for a score to drop significantly without any major detrimental reasons (i.e. late payments, collection activity, closing old tradelines, etc) is utilization ratio. If, for example, your credit card utilization being reported has gone up significantly, this could be the culprit.

A cheap alternative and effective method for tracking your FICO is to get a couple credit cards that offer free FICO scoring. Here are some good options for tracking your FICO through a credit card:

Amex - Experian Fico 8
Discover - Transunion Fico 8
Barclays - Transunion Fico (not sure which version)
Citibank - Equifax Fico Bankcard 8
Last edited by dustinst22 on Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:08 pm, edited 9 times in total.

michaeljc70
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:52 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:49 pm
Couple keypoints:

- There are three credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. FICO has numerous versions of its scoring model. Unless you are comparing apples to apples (same bureau + same version), then it's impossible to know if your score really has dropped "dramatically"

- Someone recommended Credit Karma. While useful for some purposes, it uses VantageScore, which can vary significantly from FICO.

A cheaper and better alternative is to get a couple credit cards that offer free FICO scoring. Here are some good options for tracking your FICO through a credit card:

Amex - Experian Fico 8
Discover - Transunion Fico 8
Barclays - Transunion Fico (not sure which version)
Citibank - Equifax Fico Bankcard 8
The OP never said it was their FICO that dropped. They need to compare apples to apples (same bureau, same model).

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:08 pm

pdavi21 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:38 pm
If it's past the two year anniversary of paying off a non credit card debt, that'll drop your score. (Different types of credit checkbox).
I did pay off my car in July 2016, final payment was like $8k dollars I believe (I paid off the remaining balance). 2 years from that would put it at July 2018, so after I last checked my credit. So that theory would hold true in my case, if that is indeed it. Thanks

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:12 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies. I think this is adding up and starting to make a bit more sense. 2 things are sticking out that are probably contributing to this

Closed Macy's CC account in 2018 due to non-activity
2 year window since last non-credit card account was paid off/closed (car loan) hit in July 2018

dustinst22
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by dustinst22 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:15 pm

JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:12 pm

Closed Macy's CC account in 2018
2 year window since last non-credit card account was paid off/closed (car loan) hit in July 2018
Closing accounts would not negatively impact your score unless it negatively impacts your utilization ratio. Closed accounts continue to report for 10 years. Having a balance of 0 on an account will slightly impact your score (i.e. paid off loan), but the amount is relatively insignificant.

I'm an expert on credit scoring models, and my previous post would be the most likely reason for your score change.

Topic Author
JD2775
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by JD2775 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:17 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:15 pm
JD2775 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:12 pm

Closed Macy's CC account in 2018
2 year window since last non-credit card account was paid off/closed (car loan) hit in July 2018
Closing accounts would not negatively impact your score unless it negatively impacts your utilization ratio. Closed accounts continue to report for 10 years. Having a balance of 0 on an account will slightly impact your score (i.e. paid off loan), but the amount is relatively insignificant.

I'm an expert on credit scoring models, and my previous post would be the most likely reason for your score change.
Thanks Dustin, saving your post for future reference

Nate79
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Re: Credit score dropped dramatically, while credit has been frozen

Post by Nate79 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:55 pm

I suggest to get a Credit Karma account regardless. Unfreeze at Experian and Transunion, open an account and then refreeze.

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