Why credit scores change even with little account activity

Dear Experian,

Why does my credit score jump around so much when I don’t have much activity?



Dear SGD,

Credit scores are not static. They change as the information in your credit report changes. A change can be the result of something as simple as the passage of time.

As time passes information in your credit history becomes less significant in terms of credit scores. For example, the older a late payment becomes, the less effect it will have on scores. The same is true with hard inquiries. They can have a minor negative impact, but only if they occurred in recent months.

Accounts you have closed may be paid off and closed, or could be deleted from your report. Even a just a little account activity, like making a payment or making a charge can cause a change in credit scores.

Usually, the changes are just small fluctuations if you are managing your credit well. If you were to graph your credit scores over time to track improvement, you wouldn’t see a smooth, straight line going up. Instead, you would probably see a jagged line that goes up and down a bit, but that trends upward over time.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team