Friday, January 15, 2016

January Spending Freeze, Day 14: My credit score just got a boost!

A long time ago, Jordan and I signed up to keep track of our credit for free at  It has been incredibly helpful to us and I highly recommend it!  Back in December, I got an email from Credit Karma explaining the tendency of credit scores to drop temporarily due to Christmas shopping.  Credit card balances tend to be higher, increasing the percentage of total credit card utilization, which is a main factor in determining credit score.  Well, even though we never carry a balance on any of our cards, we do run most of our shopping through them in order to take advantage of rewards--and in November and December, we did quite a bit more shopping than usual.  My credit did take a little dive and I was bummed.

Right after Christmas, we completely paid off all our cards (like we always do, usually twice a month), and immediately started the spending freeze.  We've hardly spent any money since, so my credit utilization is down to about 1%.  1-9% is considered "excellent."  As a result, my scores are up 27 points (TransUnion) and 19 points (Equifax) since the last time I checked!  

I can't do much about some of the other factors.  Age of credit history is probably what I need most, and that takes time, obviously.  But I am excited to see that my credit is steadily improving, and it's awesome to sometimes be able to do specific things to improve it instead of guessing like we used to.  Seeing that the spending freeze has helped it, even in the short term, brightened my day and gives me motivation to press on through the end of the month!