FICO Scores are Starting to Drop - But Why NOW?

Back on August 10, 2008 I wrote a blog post about the tightening credit and its ramifications and I ended the title of it with "...and Watch Your FICO Scores DROP!"

And it's begun to happen - I just don't understand why it didn't start sooner. When some of your available credit is taken away your ratio of outstanding debt to your available credit changes, for the worse. Whereas you may have had a credit card with a $10,000 credit line and only $2,500 owed on it you had a 25% debt ratio. If they reduced your credit line to $2,500 you would now have 100% debt ratio - not good for your FICO score.

I have monthly monitoring of my credit reports and score and have been surprised to not see any change at all to my FICO score even though as with many others I have had credit card companies reduce some of my credit lines.

But today I checked my daughter's report and saw her score dropped 28 points and yet not one thing has changed in her file since last month and surprise of surprise, last month it dropped 28 points as well! Absolutely nothing in her file had changed over those two months but her score has dropped almost 60 points. She has "excellent" in all the categories except for "length of credit history" because she's only got a few years of history.

I hadn't gotten my monthly notice on my account so I popped over there and lo and behold my FICO score is now beginning to drop as well.

What does this mean? Well, I'm not sure...it should have happened months ago when credit began being shut off, but it didn't.

But now suddenly the scores are adjusting downward. Odd isn't it? The government is pushing for the financial institutions that they gave bailout money to to actually use it to give credit to consumers again, but suddenly all of us don't look as good on paper any more - in some cases for no apparent reason. Are these institutions now going to point to our lower FICO scores and use it as an excuse not to lend?

Just what is going on? Seems like your guess is as good as mine, but it doesn't look good any way you look at it.

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