Now, this is what I call an expensive credit score lesson. I recently received a credit score question from a consumer who wanted to know why her credit score decreased by 82 points over the previous few months. She had her current credit report and allowed me to review it. I quickly found the issue and she was amazed by how her actions over Christmas were to blame for her current, bad credit score.
Her current credit report indicated her Visa card went 30 days delinquent in December 2015, 60 days delinquent in January 2016 and 90 days delinquent in February 2016. She brought this card currently in March 2016. I explained to her that her recent late payments on this card tanked her credit score. At first, she was arguing that I must be wrong since her account was now current and that the minimum payments she missed were only $15. Out of frustration, she explained she only missed the payments because she bought her boyfriend a $50 gift for Christmas and figured she would skip these payments and pay her account off once she received her IRS income tax refund. Unfortunately for her, this plan severely damaged her credit score.
Many consumers fail to realize how credit scoring works. A MISSED payment is a MISSED payment. A DELINQUENCY is a DELINQUENCY. Credit scoring is complicated and has many moving parts; consumers need to understand if they have missed payments, their credit score will be negatively impacted.