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By Terry Savage on December 28, 2023 | Credit/Debt

Hello Ms. Savage,
I watch you on WGN every Wednesday morning..
I was wondering if you can give me some real clarity on why they lowered my husband’s credit score from the
800’s to the high 700’s because I pay my bills in full every 30 days..
Interest rates at places like Macy’s charge 31 percent interest..
I refuse to pay it..
I pay his AM EX every 30 days, and they are the company that contacted me with the lower credit score..
I thought that it maybe because I have no car notes or any type of installment loans..
We are seniors, and I don’t spend money that we don’t have..
I planned for retirement and act accordingly..
My husband has cancer, and could get very sick at any time..
Why am I or should I say my husband be penalized for paying on time..
They probably won get me because I will shop a sale with 12-24 month interest free programs , and pay it off
before the interest accrued is owed..
Please help me to understand because you are totally financially SMART…

Terry Says

First, let me ask why you are so upset! Is it because you are planning to purchase a home, or a new car insurance policy? If not, your credit score really doesn’t matter that much.

Second, since it was Amex that mentioned your score, it’s a bit unusual. They are not a traditional credit card. Instead, go to www.CreditKarma.com (or perhaps your bank) to get your real credit score. I’m betting that it might have been an Amex pitch, and that your score at CreditKarma is still in the 800s.

Finally, you should check your credit report — FREE — at one of the three major credit bureaus. For that, go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Make sure no one else is using your credit, ie no unfamiliar account listed there.

And finally, Yes, it’s likely that since you are not using much credit, your score might drop a bit. But I wouldn’t worry about it. And please write back to me and let me know if you found your real score to be higher, or hoping you didn’t find anything wrong on your credit report.

Oh, and PS, while you’re getting your credit report, you might want to freeze it at all three bureaus, so no one can open new credit in your name. Just remember your PIN so you can unfreeze it in the future!

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