February 2015 I had my bankruptcy discharged. Since then, I have been able to obtain credit cards and car loans. I have never missed a payment on anything and I always pay more than the minimum. I am aware that hard inquiries can negatively impact your credit score. 11/3 my report dropped 31 points. 11/28 it came up 29 points. Today my score plummeted 79 points. What causes such a huge drop to my credit score? I have a card through Capital One called BuyPower. It has a $1000 limit. It gives a percentage back to be used toward the purchase of a new vehicle. Every 2 weeks I pay $400 and use for groceries and gas. Could the problem be the way I use this particular card?

Terry Says:  That’s very strange.  It might depend on exactly what credit score you are getting!  There are literally dozens of them.  You can get a free credit score at CreditKarma.com, and if you have a Discover Card your score gets reported on your monthly bill.  The “original” credit score was created by Fair Isaac Company, and is call the FICO score — but actually there are many versions of the FICO score, as well!  You can pay to get it at www.myFICO.com.  The one they sell is pretty much the score used by most lenders and insurance companies to price your loans.

So, make sure you are using the same score each time you ask.  And then calm down about your bouncing score.  As long as you put your bankruptcy behind you (remember it stays on your credit report for 10 years from the date of filing) and as long as you don’t start piling up more debt that you carry from month to month, your score will continue to improve.  To learn more about the factors that go into your credit score, click on this link to reach MyFico’s article on the subject.