Mary Lou Writes In And Wants To Know “Why Does My Credit Score Keep Going Down?”

Mary Lou

“Dear Steve,

My FICO score does not keep going up:

  1. 3/99 I filed bankruptcy-it will be 10 years next March and should come off my credit score.
  2. I owe $5,400 on one credit card and $7,300 on my car for a total of $12700. In January 2008, I owed over $26000.
  3. All bills are paid on time or better than agreed.
  4. Other than the bankruptcy, there are no negatives on showing on my credit.
  5. My income-after taxes is $3266 monthly

My FICO score is as follows: July, 720/August, 726, September 715. Why does it go down rather than up as my bills are being paid off?

Thank you

Mary Lou”

Dear Mary Lou,

As silly as this may sound, one of the issues is that you don’t have enough credit. Good and proper use of a credit card will help to increase your credit score. Since your bankruptcy you’ve probably been credit adverse, avoiding credit like the plague.

Unfortunately the credit bureaus can’t put your credit rehabilitation into turbo unless you have multiple cards reporting about how good you really are.

I’d suggest applying for another credit card now, using this link. Just apply for one now and another one in a few months. You might even want to transfer part of the balance from the current card and divide it among your new group of cards. This will help also as it will lower your balance to limit ratio. Ideally you don’t want the balance to creep up over 30% of your credit limit or that will hurt you as well.

If you want additional specific information I recommend this consolidated credit report but be sure you order the consolidated report with your credit score. You will be able to download your report online and it will tell you specific things you can do to increase your credit score.

I do find it ironic that this consolidated credit report and credit score tells you specifically what you can do to increase your credit score. I guess credit reporting agencies are all for giving you the exact information you need to increase your credit score as long as you are paying them for the information.

I think you will find that the advice I gave you will do the trick and increase your score for you over the next six months.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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