So, I paid off a mortgage a few years ago, and got a medical bill finally off my credit, that I spent several years challenging. I also stopped using credit cards too often, after getting them all paid off.
I figured my credit would go up, and it did, a little-- getting that medical albatross off of it really helped. But it didn’t help as much as I thought, and then it took a hit when the mortgage dropped off, and suddenly instead of a 15 year credit history, I had only a 9 year (my oldest credit card) credit history.
I had been using nothing but a debit card, keeping the credit cards just for theoretical emergencies, and slowly my credit began to drop, a couple of points a month. My brother knows more about this stuff than I do, so I asked him “What gives?”
He told me to use my credit cards. Pay them in total every month, so I never pay any interest, but use them (and I get the rewards too). So I moved things like my Netflix and Hulu payments from debit to credit, and a put credit cards on my Amazon and PayPal accounts. I set them up for autopay, so I won’t get any late fees by stupidly forgetting to pay something when I had plenty of money to do so.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a plane ticket, made hotel reservations, and bought some theater tickets on a credit card. It had seemed to be working, I guess, because my credit scores were inching up a couple of points a month. Then I charged all that stuff for the trip, plus some other unusual expenses I had last month (I broke my glasses, and had to pay for the new ones, new prescription, everything, OOP, due to a catch in my insurance, and my laptop started to malfunction, etc., etc.) I will pay the card off when it is due, but it’s got a pretty big balance sitting on it.
Just checked my credit scores: Equifax went up 22 points, and Transunion went up 26 points.
What a stupid system.