Sunday, March 25, 2007


I officially hate this whole FICO score thing. I recently fell under the mis-impression that I might ever understand what is going on, and started to take steps to monitor and improve what is already a pretty sold score. [Hey, someday I might want to buy that closet I've always dreamed of.] I even did smart things like increase my credit limits (while paying down debts) to more quickly improve my debt-to-credit ratios.

I also signed up for myFICO updates. This morning I got my second every instant FICO update directly on my cellphone--a 13 point drop.

"Why did I get this alert?" myFICO prompts me.
The short answer is easy:

This alert was sent because there is new activity on an account that was inactive for more than 3 months.
But from there, even myFICO plays hard to get, like that recurring one-night-stand which just may be interested in more, but hasn't the time to let you in on that thought process.

Even though FICO is just a formula, here is what I get:

You received this alert because one of your credit accounts is showing activity after having been inactive for some time. The effect this has on your FICO score is hard to predict; it may cause your score to go up or go down.

...[I]t is possible for new activity on an inactive account, by itself, to affect the FICO score:

A FICO score may go up if most of the accounts in the credit report have been inactive recently and then new activity is reported on one of the accounts. Consumers who have recently used credit responsibly often have higher FICO scores than consumers who have not used credit at all recently. For this reason, new activity on a credit report with little recent activity can improve the FICO score.

A FICO score may go down if the new activity is reported on an account that was already in bad status. Accounts in bad status include those that are currently past due, have a history of missed payments, or are charged-off or sold to a collection agency.

It may cause your score to go up or down?! Like FICO is some magical genie in a bottle, and if we bothered to ask how it came to this wondrous number directly, we would anger it and forever lose access to its insights!? F* THAT!

Mind you, none of this is really the case. You see, the Nelnet accounts in question are both federal stafford loans in perfect standing. They represent neither recent responsible use of credit, nor do they represent new activity on an account in bad status. I have a perfect payment record on these accounts. I have even paid them through mid-2008. They just haven't told the credit bureaus anything since, oh, December 1.

Thus, I give up. A big ole clenched-fist sign language "Good Morning" to Nelnet, myFICO, and my current and future landlords.

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