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stefanc
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎11-16-2007
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Amex charge/Siggy card and FICO scores

I've been experimenting with my FICO scores to see what my Amex Green and siggy cards do with balances on them (with all else being the same).

 

This is on EQ...

 

I've been paying my Green card to zero before the statement cuts one or two months and letting it report a balance the next... Whenever my green reports any balance at all, my score drops (dropped 6 points today with a $300 balance reporting, I got a balance increase alert on score watch).

 

A few months ago I ran my Visa siggy to over 80% of it's reported highest balance and let the statement cut, slammed on FICO over 20 points on that one. Paid it back down and the next month and the points came right back (it reports as "flexible spending account" with no credit line - but highest balance on report). I usually let that card report a balance and pay after statement cut, so it's not that it goes from zero to a reported balance...

 

I know signature cards and charge cards are not supposed to matter to the calculation, but they certainly seem to for me! I've been careful to keep the number of cards reporting a balance the same so as not to skew my scores because of that. No utilization changes on any other cards, or overall, of more than 1/2 to1% at the most.

 

Just an FYI on what seems to be happening for me.

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wollepopolle
Posts: 545
Registered: ‎09-12-2010
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Re: Amex charge/Siggy card and FICO scores

My Visa Signature reported $60 from $0 the previous month (which was when I got that card, so it is rather new). I had paid most of it off before the statement cut. Even with those mere $60 on there, my score dropped by 18 points. I'll now always pay it off before the statement cuts.

The scoring model for those cards is ridiculous! $60 is no "real" debt ("real" as in "substantial"). The scores should not drop that much.

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Amex charge/Siggy card and FICO scores

stefanc, the six points for letting the AmEx report is probably due to simply having an additional card with a balance. EQ ignores AmEx charge cards for util, but they do look at them as another tradeline, and they count it if it shows a balance, increasing your total accounts with balances.

 

But you did get hurt more with the Sig card, because it does report highest balance instead of the CL.

 

If a World/ Sig card reports a CL, you're fine. It's treated like any other CC.

 

If it does not report a CL, but it does report highest balance, you're hurt unless and until you have a high balance show up, because the card is being calculated for util, and your highest balance is lower than your CL. The high balance figure doesn't have to report on your statement; it's the highest balance you ever had within the billing cycle. (Except for AmEx, but they don't have World/ Sigs.) If you can do a lot of charging in one month, you might be able to get your highest balance figure up high enough so that you'll be in better shape in the future.


If it doesn't report a CL or a highest balance, it's ignored for util on that card, but you've lost its contribution to your total credit limits, so if balances report on OTHER cards, your total util can rise.

 

You probably have to look at your full reports to know for sure what's being reported and what isn't. This is the sort of thing that doesn't always transfer smoothly over to monitoring reports, including those from myFICO.

 

I'd really like to strangle whoever dreamed these card types up and deemed that they not report CL's. :smileytongue: Luckily, both my World cards do, but that's not the usual experience.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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AndySoCal
Posts: 1,941
Registered: ‎04-07-2009
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Re: Amex charge/Siggy card and FICO scores

FICO longer uses high balance in the credit utilization calculation per FICO see the article on Fox Business news.

Equifax My FICO score 815 5/28/2012, 818 on 7/28/2014 . Average of Accounts 12 years and no Installment accounts. MyFICO TU 810 6/26/2012 809 4/21/2013 MyFICO XPN -805. 2/26/2014 Discover TU FICO 813 App free since 9/2011
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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Amex charge/Siggy card and FICO scores

 


AndySoCal wrote:

FICO longer uses high balance in the credit utilization calculation per FICO see the article on Fox Business news.


This article is specifically discussing American Express charge cards. :smileyhappy:

 

But that's a good point, and I should have added this. You have to pull your full reports, the ones that come directly from the bureaus as opposed to TrueCredit or myFICO or whatever, and see if the cards are reported as "open" or "revolving" under account type. If it says "open", it's ignored for EQ and for TU04 (not for TU98.) I think Experian is supposed to ignore these, too, but it's been so long since I've seen an EX FICO score that I honestly don't know for sure what they're actually doing. On my own EX reports, my Gold card is listed as revolving, and it should say open.  :smileymad:

 

At any rate, if your CC shows as "open", it's not included in util for EQ, it is for TU98 but not for TU04, and who the heck knows for EX. So "Open" is the magic word.

 

Here's what you look for on the EQ full report (second line on the left.) EQ is great, because they show loan type (CC vs installment vs mortgage) and account type (open vs revolving):

 

eq gold.jpg

 

Here's what you look for on TU (second line on the right):

 

tu gold.jpg

 

And here's what you look for on EX (top of center column.) For some reason, EX shows mine as revolving, not open:

 

ex gold.jpg

 

 

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007

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