Credit Score: Why It's Constantly Changing

Successfully obtaining a mortgage requires meeting certain numbers. There's the amount of the down payment that you must have in your bank account. The amount of annual earnings you must show to prove you can manage the mortgage. And then there is your credit score.

Right now, that credit score needs to be in the mid 700s in order for most lenders to offer the historically low interest rates that are tempting buyers. It is that score that tells the bank that you are the kind of person that pays your bills, and pays them on time.

And if you are the type of person that pays your bills on time, then you are probably the type of person that plans ahead. Mortgage brokers and lenders will tell you that before you apply for a mortgage, you should get a copy of your credit report to ensure that it is accurate, and to know what your score is.

The problem is, said Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, a website that provides free access to credit scores and credit advice, that score is constantly changing. "If you check your credit score right now, and then check it an hour later, everything is subject to change," he said. "There are so many things that affect your score -- depending on when your credit card company is sending its information on balances, and whether you are opening or closing an account -- that it is going to fluctuate."