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finding out why credit has dropped ~20 points in one week

I recently checked my credit on MyFico.com, and it was 754.  A few days later, CreditKarma.com says it's 738.

(A friend with 780 FICO says that they're this low because I have large limits on all of my credit cards, all of which are used for business and are paid off 100% each month.)

How do I go about figuring out (a) if this difference is significant, (b) if it has taken some sort of hit because of a "hard pull"?

(I recently put in requests for pre-qualification letters.  Are those a "hard pull" that would affect my credit score?  Or are they just "soft inquiries" that have no effect?)
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January 01 2011 - Laguna Niguel
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  • km9
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Home approvals will drop the score yes.  16 sounds about right if you put a bunch in over a wide enough time frame.  Mine dropped at least 10-15 from this.
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January 02 2011
"A friend with 780 FICO says that they're this low because I have large limits on all of my credit cards, all of which are used for business and are paid off 100% each month.)"

No, your credit card limits have nothing to do with the scoring but the balance vs credit limit does. Even though you pay the cards off each month your credit report will always show a balance unless you go through 2 billing cycles with no charges. Keep your cc charges under 33% of the credit limit on any 1 card and you will get the best scores. You are also comparing the scores pulled from 2 different companies on different days. Even though both are using Fico scores, there are multiple scoring models within Fico. Transunion has a model called 98 and another called 04, both Fico but will give different scores. Experian has version 1 and version 2 so even if the credit was pulled 1 hour apart from 2 different companies, scores would be different if different models are used.  
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January 02 2011
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Thank you, Clay.  Your response was very helpful!

(BTW, emailed you, but your email bounced.)
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January 02 2011

Scubacuda, I received your email and sending one back.

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January 02 2011
If you are maxing your limits this could be a problem, even if you pay them in full on your next billing cycle. But, I don't think you have much to concern yourself about. Anything over a 740 will give you the best rates. With such a small difference a good LO can work that out.

Happy funding, Rudi
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January 02 2011
 
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finding out why credit has dropped ~20 points in one week
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