Flights of Fancy Mom

I'm a mom with dreams.  I want to live my life with no boundaries.  One day at a time.

Recovering your FICO Score After A Major Life Event

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If you’re a blogger, you know, your life is an open book.  You share things with your readers that a lot of people may think you’re crazy for sharing. But, we feel, if it helps our readers, that’s what makes it worthwhile.

So, I’m about to really put myself out there and share with you something really personal. Something that many people just do not share. Not sure why. For some, it’s a badge of honor. Others, it’s a badge of courage because you went through something that someone else may not understand. It is something that in the process of the short sale of my home this past Spring, I had MANY MANY MANY anxiety attacks about.

My FICO score and the recent fluctuations.

When I bought my house in 2009, my credit score was 800.  The financial company I went through was surprised.  Said that they never had a single woman buying a house with a credit score that high. I was proud of myself. That score was my badge of honor.

Over the course of six years, my score went down slightly for a variety of reasons.  One, my house was a huge amount in my debt to income ratio. Two, I was laid off from my job and my income went down significantly. Again, affecting my debt to income ratio. Three, not going to lie here, during the time I was laid off, I went late on some of my payments.

However, even with some of those delinquencies, I always paid before they were two months late, so, the hit on my score was minimal. The lowest my score got was 740. So, I’d lost 60 points since I bought my house. Still, I was in the Very Dependable field.  Barely, but, I was there.

During my short sale, things got bad.  The increase in my panic attacks was bad. But, looking back now? It wasn’t as bad as I thought. My credit scores from the start of the short sale until now were:

January – 742 *Very Dependable
February – 686 * Good
March – 685 *Good
April – 685 *Good
May – 685 *Good
June – 647 *Below Average
July – 684 *Good
August – 690 *Good

I’ve heard HORROR stories from people doing short sales. But, looking at my scores?  I really don’t know how I got so lucky. I suppose it could be that the only payment I missed during my short sale was my mortgage payment.  I made sure everything was paid for on time with everything else.

Here are the factors that affect your score:

  • Payment History – (35% of Total score)
  • Amounts Owed (30% of Total Score)
  • Length of Credit History (15% of Total Score)
  • New Credit (10% of Total Score) 
  • Types of Credit (10% of Total Score)

I cannot stress this enough.  Review your credit report annually by clicking HERE. I reviewed mine after my short sale and found a discrepancy. I had a bill that I was paying my dentist for. Under their new office management, they sent it to a collection agency. I called my dentist office and found out this new process.

I had been with this office for 25 years and they always let me make payments. But, that changed, as I had been informed when I called. So, I immediately paid the bill, under the impression that it would not be reported to my report.  Well, lo and behold, there it was.  I disputed it with the credit agency and they removed it within two weeks. I feel this contributed to my higher point increase from June to July.

I’m continuing to make all of my bills on time. Credit cards, car loans and utility bills. Doing this, I know that the short sale will be a thing of my past and when I go to move again, I’ll be free and clear to either buy another home, an RV as my home and to travel in, or, will have no issues renting if I choose I don’t want the fuss and muss of buying another home.

Have you had a situation in which your credit score was affected?  Or, a situation that you needed to try and raise your credit score?  What did you do?





  1. Robin Masshole Mommy

    I have never had any real issues, so my score has always been good. Glad to know it can be fixed if need be 🙂

    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      Robin, This short sale was the only issue I’ve ever come across. My credit score had always been in the 750 – 800 range. I’m glad my realtor talked me out of doing the deed in lieu route I was going through. That would have taken me more than 10 years to recover. A short sale will take less than two years.

  2. Alli Rutherford Smith

    I always make sure my payments are never late. My husband and I are on a “get-out-of-debt” track so we’re very diligent about keeping on top of things.

    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      Same here! I’ve always been very conscientious about making my payments on time. This short sale was an unplanned event in my life. I had lost over 55k value on the house. I couldn’t find a “good” renter. Took me several months before I made the choice to go that route.

  3. Heather DiNuzzo

    I had an unpaid bill I didn’t know about and it affected my credit. It is the worst feeling because I have never had dept or anything..just a mistake.

  4. Pam Wattenbarger

    It can be hard to rebuild your score after a major life event. This a really informative post about FICO scores.

  5. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    This is great advice on recovering one’s credit score after a major life event. Keeping track of my credit score is something I’ve done for many years.


    This is great. I haven’t checked my score in a little bit now, but last I did check it was great. I didn’t realize about after a life event, so this is great to know.

  7. Liz Mays

    It’s definitely good to watch for unexpected things like that dentist’s billing change! I think staying consistent with payments and monitoring your score helps a lot.

    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      Definitely! I am on my discover card app every month checking it!

  8. Sarah

    It is so important to work on building credit for sure. I am glad you are sharing a resource like this so theirs can work towards rebuilding their credit after a major life event.

  9. Amanda Simkin

    Having a good credit score is so incredibly important for so many things in life. That’s why I keep very close tabs on my bills, statements, and refuse to interact with any thing with high interest rates.

  10. Rebecca Swenor

    My credit FICO went down when I had to get my frozen broke water pipes fixed and the same week my furnace went so I had to get that fixed too. This was in the dead of winter here in the U.P. of Michigan where it gets -20 degrees and I had to run electric heaters. I got rid of the credit cards I had and only kept one for emergencies. Thanks for sharing your experience and you really should be a proud single woman.

  11. franckxethee

    It really helps to pay your bills on time. If there are delays its good to reach out on options available so it won’t hit your credit scores.

  12. Yan

    We don’t have these kinds of measurements in the Philippines but I stayed in the US for a while and learned that credit score is actually a big deal. You’re lucky you didn’t dive to low and was able to recover in a short time. Hope it gets better over the months! 😀

  13. Jasmine Espinal

    Great info on such an important topic! I try to be very diligent and check on my score frequently. Paying bills on time is definitely a priority to maintain my score.

  14. CourtneyLynne

    Great advice!!! I’m pretty good about paying everything ontime. I’m one of those odd ones that even prepays what she can so I don’t have bills for awhile lol

  15. Wildish Jess

    We are starting to work on our credit as its gotten pretty bad. Your info was great to read!

    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      If your utilities are paid on time each month, Electric, Phone, etc., call them and see if they can add your history to the credit reporting agency. That could help with your score as well!


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