Paying off a personal loan can raise or lower your credit score, depending on your current financial situation and more importantly, your credit mix. Your credit mix is how many different types of credit and loan products you have. This is one factor that affects your credit score, and having a more diverse credit mix is a positive thing according to the credit bureaus.
Paying off any loan is a good thing. It means you met your financial obligation, fulfilled the contract with the lender, and lowered your overall debt load. These are all great accomplishments on your financial journey. Unfortunately, credit scores can be very precarious things that raise and lower frequently. And sometimes paying off a loan can actually lower your credit score.
If paying off a loan gets rid of a specific type of credit product from your credit mix it can negatively impact your score. This is because having many different types of credit or loans is seen as having a diverse credit mix, which raises your credit score. So if you remove one of those, and it was the only one of that type on your credit report, then your score may temporarily lower.
But even if your score does drop a small amount due to a less diverse credit mix, it’s still a great achievement to pay off a personal loan. And if paying it off lowers your overall debt, helps you avoid future interest charges and other fees, and simplifies your budgeting and finances, then it’s still worth it. You should never keep a loan open longer than you need to for fear of a slight drop in your credit score.
It’s important to monitor your credit score and keep track of your overall financial situation. But keep in mind that your score will fluctuate over time. It may go up for a while, and then drop slightly here and there. Unless the drop is significant, rest assured that continuing to pay your bills and loans on time and practicing smart budgeting and financial planning will keep your score where it needs to be in the long run.