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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-31-2009

Advantage in having a zero balance on a credit card?

My Equifax FICO score is 763. Trying to get the TransUnion score.


I have three major credit cards from three different companies. I've had each card for at least 20 years.


My total credit limit on these three accounts is $23,000. My total credit card debt is at about 29% of my total limits.


Just a little confused about some info I've read about how revolving accounts affect your score.


At most places I've read that FICO scores are based on the ratio of your total credit card debt to your total credit card limits. But in reading the forums here, it seems some folks promote keeping a card with a zero balance.


Just wondering does FICO also evaluate what percentage you have charged on your individual credit card accounts? And does having a zero balance on a card help your score?


Right now, two of my cards have balances that are roughly 50 percent of their respective limits.


On the third card -- the one with the highest credit limit – I have less than $100 charged. It could easily become a zero balance if I need it to.


Any advice or insight would be appreciated.










Regular Contributor
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎05-01-2009

Re: Advantage in having a zero balance on a credit card?

Welcome to the forums!


Considering your debt load, your EQ score is very good.


It is recommended in the threads to optimally have only one card report a balance and a small one at that.  Many posters have experimented with this and I myself have seen signifcant increases from the strategy.


When you are able to reduce your debt to less than 9% or so of your total lines, that will be good.  The next step would be to complete the debt removal and charge on all three cards.  Pay off two of the three before the statements cut and let a small amount report on the third card.  When its statement cuts, pay off the balance.


You will avoid finance charges and improve your FICO score. 


You are on the right track---good luck!

Starting Score: TU 766 EQ 788
Current Score: TU 788 EQ 811
Goal Score: TU 800 EQ 800

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008

Re: Advantage in having a zero balance on a credit card?

Just to add, once your score is north of 760, there really isn't any practical advantage in trying to tweak your score.  Any offers/rates you receive should be at the best terms.  Going for a higher score is just a matter of personal satisfaction at that point, or for some, an exciting new hobby!


(Three major cc at 20+ years...enviable!)


Congrats, and welcome.



Super Contributor
Posts: 5,703
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: Advantage in having a zero balance on a credit card?

Having a zero balance on a CC means you are immune from the effects of AA and have total control of the CC.


These days TU like 0% util and I dont get smacked too much by EQ and EX for having it.

11/28/2014 FICO: EQ: 796 EX:788 TU:803
Valued Member
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎05-07-2009

Re: Advantage in having a zero balance on a credit card?

All Credit cards debt free, FICO score at 721 as of April this year, purchased some stuff at Best Buy in July using only half of my credit limit. This morning while using the automated system over the fone with Best Buy I accidentally pressed the wrong button immideatly increasing my limit from $1400 to $2000. Does this hinder my score because I have asked for an increase or does it help because now I am using a smaller percentage of my allowance.



New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-31-2009

Re: Advantage in having a zero balance on a credit card?

Thanks for the advice. I'm a newbie here and could use a little help with some of the jargon.

What is meant by “before the statements cut”? Is this the due date?

Also if you have a good payment history with a credit card company over 20 years, what "AA" (that means, adverse action, right?) would they or could they take?


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