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Online Banking

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For Former RTN Members: Log in using your current RTN username and password. If your username was your RTN member number, continue to use your RTN member number as your username. Please do not use your new 10-digit member number.
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MVCU, credit score, credit, credit card, credit union
Home / News & Financial Education / Why Did My Credit Score Drop?
Why Did My Credit Score Drop? By Jean Chatzky on 6/1/2024

Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

Checking your credit score is an easy way to tell if you’re making smart financial moves with your credit cards and loans. It’s a representation of how well you’re paying your bills, keeping your overall debt under control, and a few other signs of personal responsibility. But even if you feel like you’re doing everything right, you might be making some mistakes that could cause a drop in your score since the last time you checked. Here’s a look at what they are and how to get back on the right track.

  • Missed Payments

Making payments on time accounts for nearly 40% of your credit score. Since it carries so much weight, a missed payment – or worse, a history of missed payments – will likely significantly impact your score.

If you know you will not be able to pay on time, call your creditor before your due date to see if they would be willing to work out an arrangement, like a pay deferment, forbearance, or a payment plan, due to your special circumstances.

  • Using Too Much Credit

Your credit utilization ratio — or how much credit you’re using versus the amount of credit you have available to you — is another key factor in determining your credit score. It’s best to use only 10% to 30% of your available credit on each card individually and on all your cards combined. Using any more will cause your score to drop.

Create a payment schedule for yourself that will help you use less and less of your credit until you get into that 10% to 30% utilization range. We also suggest considering opening another credit card. This is a good move if your credit is good enough to qualify and if you can handle additional credit without overspending.

  • Too Many or Too Few Credit Lines

Closing credit cards will affect your credit score. Opening too many lines of credit will also adversely affect it.

Before you look to take out a loan or open a new card, assess your credit situation. If you are looking to apply for more credit in the future, hold off on applying for another card now. If you have a card you don’t want anymore, as long as it doesn’t have an annual fee, don’t close it.

If you need help establishing or fixing credit, MVCU has partnered with GreenPath Financial Wellness* to provide free one-on-one counseling.

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Category: Saving & Investing Money



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