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2westies4me

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Inconsistent Scores
Credit Karma shows my scores much higher than I see through my credit cards...which one do I believe? What a racket! How can I ever improve if I truly don't know where I stand? The more I pay down debt....ON TIME....the less my score moves.

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You need to understand that there isn't just one credit score.  Most creditors use a FICO but even FICO has a number of different scoring models used by creditors.  The specific scoring model has an impact on the number generated.  If you want to know what score a creditor will pull for you then you need to know what model and what CRA they use.  Even then not all scores are available to consumers.

You're better off learning to evaluate your own reports.  Any score is generated based on data in a report.  Good reports will lead to good scores.  While scoring models can differ they tend to evaluate Payment History as the most important factor.  If you have dergog then they will probably kill your Payment History and you should carefully look into addressing them.  I say carefully because it is possible to make matters worse in some cases.

All debt is not equal.  Amounts Owed is generally the next biggest factor but getting your revolving utilization (e.g. credit cards) in check will have a bigger impact on your scores than paying off your installments (e.g mortgage, auto, student loans).

There are a lot of resources out there that you can refer to.  Definitely make use of them.

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Different scoring models and/or versions. The only scores that I truly follow and worry about are FICO scores as those are the scores used by most lenders.

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