Why Does Your Credit Score Go Down When You Take Out a Loan

Why Does Your Credit Score Go Down When You Take Out a Loan

Your credit score is an essential aspect of your financial life, as it determines your eligibility for loans, credit cards, and other financial opportunities. When you take out a loan, it may come as a surprise that your credit score goes down. But why does this happen? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this occurrence and address some frequently asked questions about the impact of loans on credit scores.

Understanding Credit Scores

Before delving into the impact of loans on credit scores, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of how credit scores work. Credit scores are numerical representations of your creditworthiness, and they range from 300 to 850. The higher your credit score, the more likely lenders perceive you as a low-risk borrower. Various factors contribute to your credit score, including payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit, and recent credit activity.

The Impact of Loans on Credit Scores

1. Credit Inquiries: When you apply for a loan, the lender will typically conduct a hard inquiry on your credit report. This inquiry is recorded and remains on your credit report for two years. Multiple hard inquiries within a short period can negatively impact your credit score, as it may indicate to lenders that you are actively seeking credit and potentially facing financial difficulties.

2. Increase in Credit Utilization: Credit utilization refers to the amount of credit you are currently using compared to your total available credit. When you take out a loan, it increases your overall debt, potentially leading to a higher credit utilization ratio. High credit utilization can negatively affect your credit score, as it suggests that you rely heavily on credit and may struggle to manage your debts.

See also  How to Figure Median Credit Score

3. New Credit Account: Opening a new credit account can also impact your credit score. Although having a mix of credit types is generally beneficial for your score, a new credit account may initially lower your score. This is because it reduces the average age of your credit accounts, which is a factor in determining creditworthiness. Additionally, if you have a limited credit history, the addition of a new account can have a more significant impact on your score.

4. Payment History: The timely repayment of loans has a significant impact on credit scores. When you take out a loan, it provides an opportunity to demonstrate responsible repayment behavior. However, missing payments or making late payments on the loan can significantly damage your credit score. It is crucial to make all payments on time to avoid any negative consequences.


1. Will my credit score always decrease when I take out a loan?
While taking out a loan may initially cause a slight decrease in your credit score due to credit inquiries and the opening of a new credit account, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your score will continue to decrease. If you consistently make timely payments and manage your debts responsibly, your credit score can improve over time.

2. How long will the negative impact of a loan on my credit score last?
The negative impact of a loan on your credit score is not permanent. As long as you make your loan payments on time and continue to manage your other debts responsibly, the negative impact will diminish over time. Generally, negative information remains on your credit report for seven years, with its impact gradually diminishing over that period.

See also  What Happens to Credit Score if You Pay Minimum Payment

3. Will paying off my loan improve my credit score?
Paying off your loan can have a positive impact on your credit score. It demonstrates responsible financial behavior and reduces your overall debt, positively affecting your credit utilization ratio. However, the impact may vary depending on other factors in your credit history.

4. Can I improve my credit score while paying off a loan?
Yes, you can improve your credit score while paying off a loan by making all payments on time and managing your other debts responsibly. Consistently demonstrating responsible financial behavior will contribute to an improved credit score over time.

In conclusion, the decrease in your credit score when you take out a loan is primarily due to credit inquiries, increased credit utilization, the opening of a new credit account, and the impact of payment history. However, with responsible financial management, timely payments, and a consistent repayment history, the negative impact can be minimized, and your credit score can improve over time.