My Credit Score Just Dropped 15 Points. Here's Why I Don't Care

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  • Credit scores can fluctuate for a lot of reasons. 
  • Mine recently took a notable hit, but I'm not bothered by it.

It's not something I'm bothered by at all.

Many of us don't pay much attention to our credit scores until the time comes to borrow money, whether in the form of a mortgage, auto loan, or personal loan. And generally, I don't pay a lot of attention to my credit score on a month-to-month basis. 

But a while back, I signed up for credit score alerts through one of the credit bureaus after my husband became aware of someone who was trying to open an account in his name. My husband actually froze his credit, and while I didn't do the same, I decided that signing up for alerts was a smart move.

Now, any time there's a change to my credit score -- even a minor one -- I get an alert. And that means I get many alerts.

See, credit scores can fluctuate pretty frequently, and in the past, I've gotten alerts letting me know that my score rose by two points or dropped by three. Usually I don't even register those minor changes since they're fairly meaningless.

But recently, I noticed that my credit score went down by 15 points. That's more of a change than I'm used to, so I decided to dig in to see why that was. But ultimately, that drop really isn't a problem. 

I'm not sweating a small credit score drop

Although a 15-point drop is more substantial than my usual credit score changes, it's not a drastic change. And so for that reason alone, I'm not too concerned. 

But mostly, I'm not worried about that drop because:

1. I know why it happened

Your credit utilization ratio, or the amount of available credit you're using at once, is a factor in determining your credit score. Recently, I charged a huge home repair on a credit card at the same time I was paying for a vacation. That resulted in a large balance temporarily, which triggered a higher utilization ratio temporarily that no doubt led to the aforementioned 15-point drop. I've already paid off that balance in full, though, so I expect my score to come back up once that's registered.

2. My credit score is still strong

A 15-point drop in my credit score still left me with a score over 800. And frankly, once you're in the 800-range, it really doesn't matter if your score is 805 versus 820 versus 835. You're likely to have an easy time borrowing money when you want to with a score that high. 

3. I don't have any near-term borrowing needs

Even if that 15-point drop would've taken my credit score down below 800, the reality is that I'm not planning to borrow money anytime soon. Mortgage rates are really high right now, so I don't intend to refinance. I don't anticipate needing a personal loan to finance a purchase because I have money in savings for that. And while we need a new car, right now, there are none to buy, so I don't plan to take out an auto loan this year. 

Should you be concerned about credit score changes?

Minor credit score changes shouldn't keep you awake at night. There are different reasons why your score might move within a 10-point range, or even a bit beyond, from one month to the next, and for the most part, you don't need to panic over small shifts.

But if you see a drastic drop in your credit score -- say, it goes down by 60 points -- that's something you'll want to investigate. You might see your score drop that much -- or more -- if you're late paying a bill, and that's a situation you'll want to correct. 

In the meantime, I don't plan to actively check my credit score anytime soon, though I'll probably get an alert once that number adjusts. With any luck, I'll see a 15-point increase the next time around, but if not, I also won't sweat it.

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