03-18-2011 09:30 AM
ohkay so my question is ..
If i dont have a balance when my statement is generated that is shown as 0% utilization which i hear is GREAT for a credit score and so now what if i dont use my card at all? is that still generated as 0% utilization? and will it help my credit score if i dont use it or should i just continue to use it and pay it off ASAP in full like i am now?
03-18-2011 09:40 AM
It will continue to report at 0% even if you don't use it. You should use it to make at least one small purchase every couple of months to keep the card open. If you keep the card under 10% it will continue to help you just as 0% would.
03-18-2011 10:16 AM
In addition to FICO scores, internal credit card companies tend to have several other scores attached to your account. Two of those are Behavior Scores and Attrition Scores. Behavior score follow your spending behavior on their card. Attrition scores track how likely you are to completely stop using the card. If you have been using their card quite alot and then stop, this tells them that you may have moved on to another card. When this happens, they will likely send you convenience checks, raise your limit, and lower your APR (if they want to keep you based on your past behavior and how profitable you are). Credit card companies fear attrition more than anything.
Note that these are just two of about 8 different internal scores that CCC's can (and do) use to monitor you.
03-18-2011 10:27 AM
The thing to understand with util is that the fico or any other algo was designed assuming that people will use their cards and then pay (full or part) on or before due date so continuous 0% util is not considered good (fico has no way to know that you used your card and paid before it reported to CRA).
FICO considers high util as negative coz that may (not always) indicate instability in income and/or impulsive shopping. 0% util is negative as it indicates that you are not using your credit at all.
What we do here on this forum is that we try to understand fico and reverse engineer it to make it look at our cards the way we want it to (by playing around with how we utilize and how we pay). This allows most of us to be able to squeeze maximum score from our CR.
This said, if you can, you should keep your util less than 10% (but greater then 0%) when your statement cuts. If you can achieve this normally you dont need to plan anything about util (I can do this without any additional pain as i have abt 38k available credit and my monthly spending is less than 2k). If your CL is not enough for that, you may need to pay multiple times a month and maintain your reported util between >0 & <10
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