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Credit Changes FAQs

Did your score change? We’ve got some answers to common questions and concerns.

 

Credit Karma got my info wrong. Why can’t you change it?
Why did my score drop?
This account doesn’t belong to me
The information here isn’t accurate
Why was there a change with one score but not the other?
I’m not seeing a change I expect


Credit Karma got my info wrong. Why can’t you change it?

Credit Karma isn’t a credit bureau, so that means:

  • Credit Karma doesn’t create the credit scores or reports you get on our platform
  • Credit Karma can’t make changes to your credit report

The information comes directly from TransUnion and Equifax, 2 of the 3 major US credit bureaus, and the scores are from the VantageScore3.0 scoring model. If there’s a mistake in the info you see, you should dispute it right away with TransUnion or Equifax. We’ll walk you through how to do it.


Why did my score drop?

Don’t see any changes reported? Or the change doesn’t seem like a big deal? There are a lot of reasons why scores can drop. Here are a few common ones:

  1. Scores can change because the scoring model gets changed in the background. Models might change how much they weigh different factors — like age of accounts, credit card use, or payment history — and your score could readjust. Think of it like a recipe. Since these recipes are secret and created by the credit bureaus, Credit Karma doesn’t know when recipes are changed or what ingredients are getting adjusted.
  2. Sometimes there can be complicated interactions between score factors, or even within a factor. For example, credit card use can be tricky.
    • Example situation: You’ve paid down Credit-Card-A by $500. But you also charged $100 on Credit-Card-Z. But overall, your balances have decreased by $400. That’s great!
    • But if the credit limit on Card-Z is also $100, that means you’re using 100% of your credit limit on this card. This ends up hurting your score because credit card use (the % of your credit limit that you’re using) is important for each individual card, too. Learn more about credit card limits and how they can affect your score.
  3. Sometimes even missing 1 payment can bring down a score by a surprising amount, even if you’ve never missed a payment before. Your payment history is one of the most important factors in risk assessment.
    • So just missing one payment — even if it’s never happened before — can cause a big score drop. Look into calling your bank or lender to see if you can remove the missed payment. We have an article that explains more.

Read up on more reasons for score drops.


This account doesn’t belong to me

When any of the credit info you see isn’t yours or is wrong, you can dispute the account item with the credit bureaus. Use our Direct Dispute tool to remove this info at TransUnion. We’ll walk you through how. Here are common reasons that you can dispute:

  • I don’t recognize this account — it’s fraud
  • This account belongs to someone else that I know
  • I closed this account


The information here isn’t accurate

When any of the credit info you see isn’t yours or is wrong, you can dispute the account item with the credit bureaus. Use our Direct Dispute tool to remove this info at TransUnion. We’ll walk you through how. Here are common reasons that you can dispute:

  • The balance is different — I already paid it off!
    • One caveat here is that balances on your credit report are usually reported just once a month. For something like a credit card, it may not be the exact amount that’s due in your account right now.
  • My address is different
    • You can update your address and employer info with credit bureaus. Keep in mind that address, age, and employer info isn’t used to calculate your scores.
  • I thought I got rid of this account


Why was there a change with one score but not the other?

When you compare your TransUnion and Equifax reports, you may notice that certain information, like your credit card balances or limits, vary between them. There could be a few reasons for this. Here are the most common.

  1. Your lender reports to different bureaus at different times. Though most lenders report to the bureaus once a month, they don’t always report to each bureau at the same time. At Credit Karma, you can update your reports as often as once a week to see any changes to your credit utilization rate calculation.
  2. Your lender doesn’t report to both bureaus. Some lenders choose to report to all the bureaus, while others prefer to report to just one or two (or none at all). If you’re wondering whether this is the case, you can contact the lender directly to find out.
  3. There’s an error in one of your credit reports. If your situation doesn’t fall into the first two scenarios, it could mean that there’s an error in one of your credit files. In this case, you can dispute the error with the credit bureau to try to get it resolved.

If you’d like to know more about why your credit reports can vary, you can read up on it here.


I’m not seeing a change I expect

  • I just got a new credit card or loan. Why isn’t it here?
    • It may take a billing cycle or two for a new account to show up on your credit report. If you’re worried, contact the bank or lender directly to find out more.
  • I thought I got rid of this account
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