Oh one other thing- in my FICO report it states I have 21% for utilization. Is that bad?
21% UTIL is not bad. It could be better, but it is not awful.
As for letting one account go to 60%+ UTIL - you will be OK. Just focus your efforts on getting the balance on that account < 50% ASAP. You don't want your other issuers seeing that and taking AA.
Anything over 9% utilization is bad. It's an indication trouble may looming and the cardholder overspent.
Not really. It's easy for you to say when you don't owe the money. When you do and you have to make do the best you can everything is relative. Total UTIL of 21% is a lot better that > 35% or 75%! You have to try not to be a credit elitist when giving advice to those who have problems and are in need of assistance.
Total UTIL of 21% is a lot better that > 35% or 75%!
+1. I spoke with the FICO helpline today, and the CSR told me that store cards can help your scores if you pay on time and keep your balances "below 30-50%". She also mentioned that you are not getting the optimal number of points like you would with a bank/national cc - but that's another post.
Of course anything 9% and below tends to yield the most points - but this info direct from myfico helps keep everything in perspective.
OP: I love your idea of working overtime to pay things down - and this is a great time of year to do it! Kudos to you! And of course it will help. . Smart lady.
You're going to get much better info on FICO scoring here than you are on the FICO 800 number. Those rep's are not really experts, they're,,, rep's! Good for unlocking you're account when it gets locked and refunding overcharges, that sort of thing.
I didn't call the 800 help line.
I don't know that the CSR's are more or less expert than any poster, and hate to see them summarily discounted. They do have access to the definitions for the FICO Reason Codes and were able to look them up - they do work for FICO, after all. I have yet to find a post here that reveals similar access, and I'm grateful they're willing to look up information and share it - that has to be absolutely golden on these boards. I find facts extremely useful - especially when part of why we are here is to learn what works in the FICO world (that is part of why we're here, right?). It appears arrogant to presumptively knock down a good source of information. How unfortunate.