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Do FICO® Scores change that much over time?

It’s important to note that your FICO® Scores are calculated each time they’re requested; either by you or a lender. And each time a FICO® Score is calculated, it’s taking into consideration the information that is in your credit file at a particular consumer reporting agency at that time. So, as the information in your credit file changes, your FICO® Scores can also change.
How much your FICO® Scores change from time to time is driven by a variety of factors such as:

  • Your current credit profile—how you have managed your financial health to date will affect how a particular action may impact your scores. For example, new information in your credit file, such as opening a new credit account, is more likely to have a larger impact for someone with a limited credit history as compared to someone with a very full credit history.
  • The change being reported—the “degree” of change being reported will have an impact. For example, if someone who usually pays bills on-time continues to do so (a positive action) then there will likely be only a small impact on his or her FICO® Scores one month later. On the other hand, if this same person files for bankruptcy or misses a payment, then there will most likely be a substantial impact on their score one month later.
  • How quickly information is updated—there is sometimes a lag between when you perform an action (like paying off your credit card balance in full) and when it is reported by the creditor to the consumer reporting agencies. It’s only when the consumer reporting agency has the updated information that your action will have an effect on your FICO® Scores.

Keep in Mind: Small changes in financial health may impact FICO® Scores or whether a customer meets a certain lender’s FICO® Score “cutoff” (the point above which a lender would accept a new application for credit, but below which, the credit application would be denied).

This content is provided by FICO. © 2017 Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.