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MEBARB04

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CREDIT CARDS HAVE WORSENED MY CREDIT SCORE
I HAVE PAID ALL THREE ON TIME FOR 6 MONTHS STRAIGHT AND MY CREDIT HAS ONLY GOTTEN WORE.

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Utilization?

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If you've charged more than 10% utilization on your cards and make minimum payments, that could be the reason.  And there could be other factors you need to research. Credit Karma shows your scores and credit reports. It's up to you to look at them for changes. Read the articles here to educate yourself about credit.

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You are probably using too much of your limit. Your score starts to take a hit if any card is higher than 60% or if your total cards are above 30%.

So say you have 3 cards each with $1000 limit.

If you had $700 on one card, you're at 70% and that reduces your score.

If you had $300 and $200 on your other two cards then your total is $1200 out of a $3000 limit. That means you're at 40% total utilization, which is another negative.

The key to building your score is to have cards that you don't use. Their limits add to your total limit, which helps lower your utilization percentage. Again, with the example above, if you are at $1200 out of a $3000 limit (40%), you could open another $1000 card and not use it, and it would drop your percentage down to 30% ($1200 out of $4000). Open yet another card for $1000 and don't use that one either and you'd drop your utliziation all the way down to 24% ($1200 out of $5000). Basically, your spending hasn't changed, but your limit has. That would be a positive impact.

However, you also have to keep in mind that you shouldn't open too many accounts at once. An account is considered "new" for 2 years, so theoretically opening 1 account per year is ideal, because then you never have more than 2 "new" accounts at any time. Each time you open a new account, it makes your utilization better. And again, the key is to not actually use all the cards, just to have the accounts open to give you a higher limit and therefore a higher score.

They key, again, is to not actually use all the cards. If you opened two more cards and then put another $500 on each of them, you'll be much worse off than before because your utilization will still be high and you'll owe even more than you currently do

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