Maintaining a Stable Credit Score


These days maintaining a stable credit score is more important than ever. So you try to do everything right. You pay off credit card debt, avoid new loans, close unused credit card accounts, and make sure that you pay all your bills on time. Then you check your credit score, only to find that it fluctuates by as much as 50 points -- which could mean the difference between a low mortgage rate and a high one. What are you doing wrong?

You may not be doing anything wrong, says Tena Friery, the research director at Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer education organization. "The score really captures the data in your report at any given time," she says. "Accounts are opened, accounts are closed; that all changes daily, weekly, monthly."

Or maybe even more frequently."If you check your credit score right now and then check it an hour later, it could change," says Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, a website that provides free access to credit scores and credit advice.

Does that mean that you have no control over fluctuations in your credit score? It may seem that way, but in reality there are plenty of things you can do to keep your credit score stable. Here are tips from Lin and Friery for keeping fluctuations to a minimum and maintaining the highest credit score possible: