5 Lesser-Known Reasons Why Your Credit Score Drops

Are you frustrated because your credit score dropped suddenly for no apparent reason? Laura answers a listener question and covers 5 lesser-known reasons why credit scores can drop unexpectedly. These tips will help you raise your credit score as quickly as possible.

Laura Adams, MBA
8-minute read
Episode #467

Reason #5: Your credit mix has changed

While it’s not the most important factor in how your FICO or other credit scores are calculated, having a mix of different types of accounts helps increase your credit scores.

For instance, having revolving accounts, such as a credit card or line of credit, in addition to installment accounts, such as a car loan or mortgage, shows lenders that you can handle different types of credit responsibly.

So, if you just paid off the only installment loan you have, your credit mix looks less diverse to lenders and there’s not much you can do about that. Unless you need to finance a purchase, like a home or car, I don’t recommend taking a loan just for the sake of boosting your credit.

If you maintain good habits, like paying credit cards and utility bills on time, and maintaining low utilization rates, your credit scores will naturally go up over time.

As is often the case, you’ll get the best scores by using credit — as long as you use it wisely.

A final tip is to check your credit report using a free site like Credit Karma to make sure there are no errors dragging down your credit scores. Inaccurate information could be a sign that a lender reported bad data to your file or that you've become the victim of identity theft. Dispute any inaccurate information with the credit bureau right away so it won't hurt your finances.

Related: How Many Credit Cards Should You Have for Good Credit?

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.