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Should accumulating some credit card balance change my score this much?
Last time I checked my score it was low 800's. Since then I accumulated a pretty large balance on one of my credit cards to help get a side business up and going - like $19,400 of a $20k limit. The only other change was that I opened a small limit "Barclaycard" to finance a computer from Apple for business use. The balance on that one is pretty low now, but it lowered my average account age (nothing else under 5 years, most much longer).
I just checked my credit score and it's plummeted to 671! I have flawless credit aside from the the two things mentioned above. I'm just wondering:

1. Is it normal for those two issues to drop my score 130+ points?
The only other impacting factor I can see is that it mis-reports my balance on
the one high-balance card as being a few dollars over limit - which is
demonstrably false from my bank record.

2. Should I close the relatively new (9mos) Barclay card to raise my average account age? Or does that work? I don't really need the small balance to increase my available balances, I have two other cards with a total of $37,000 limits and I'm about to pay down my existing balance on the one high-balance card substantially.

Thanks for any input.

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Yes, those actions can change your score

by 130 points. 

1)  yes High balances do effect your score. Any time your useage goes over 30% on any card it will drop your score. 

2) never close any account that is in good standing.  Closing it will hurt your score more than having it open. And it won't comeoff your report or raise the age of your accounts.  It will still be averaged in and will show as a closed account for at least 7 years.

Take steps to pay off this debt as quickly as possible and your score will come back up.   Scores fluctuate all the time. Just don't try opening new accounts while your score is down and you should be okay. 

Good luck on the new venture!

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The high balance on your credit card alone is enough to reflect a significant drop in your credit score.  You are utilizing over ninety-percent of your credit on that card and an "A" score is given for that if you are within one to three-percent of utilization.

The newer card will definitely be affecting you as well, because the age of your credit is important as well.  Adding any new account will give you a new very low number to factor into that average.  I'm not sure if closing that account now is a good idea or not.  I don't know if that account will still be factored in once it is closed.  You might want to contact one of the credit bureaus to ask about that.

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