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Valued Contributor
red259
Posts: 1,446
Registered: ‎06-05-2013

Credit utilization year round?

I have read a number of posts where people indicated you only have to worry about credit card utilization when you are getting ready to go on an app spree since your score is based off of recent credit card utilization vs long term utilization. I was wondering how many of you focus on your utilization year round even when your in the garden and have no intention of applying for new cards and if you have found it successful? I was thinking that it may be a good practice year round in case there are random credit checks by some of my card companies and that it may help make an automatic CLI a bit more likely. Is this just wishful thinking? Also, is there a particular time of year when new credit bonus programs are released?


Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 730 6/27/14
Goal Score: 800 In garden until 1/2015
Moderator Emeritus
tinuviel
Posts: 4,877
Registered: ‎11-02-2010

Re: Credit utilization year round?

I keep a close eye on managing my util thoughout the year. The reason is twofold. First, as you mentioned, is that creditors check on you via SP. I don't want to have my CLs reduced due to high util, nor do I want to be passed up for potential CLIs. And secondly, keeping my util low imposes a sense of discipline, ensuring that my spending won't get out of hand. My rule is that, barring any emergency expenses that I've chosen to spread out over time, anything that I charge needs to be paid within the current billing cycle. I'm effectively treating my cards as quasi-debit cards, using them for day to day purchases and collecting the rewards. I spent years under a pile of CC debt and successfully dug myself out. I don't ever want to be in that position again, so making certain that I PIF and keep my reported util very low has helped to ensure that I continue to live within my means.


Current Scores: EQ 775 (03/04/2014), EX 756 (03/01/2014), TU 760 (03/01/2014)
Ruby Spade Garden Club Member - Last App: 03/04/2013 - No apps until 2014
Cards: Cap1 Venture 6.4k, Cap1 Quicksilver MC 1.75k, BankAmericard 1-2-3 Visa Signature - UCF Alumni Association 5k, Discover 7k, Citi Diamond Preferred MC 10.35k, Wells Fargo Rewards Visa 7k, Chase Freedom 5k, Chase Ink 7.5k, Amex Green NPSL, Dillard's Amex 7.5k, JC Penney 7.5k, Kay Jeweler's 5.1k
Moderator
09Lexie
Posts: 24,390
Registered: ‎09-13-2012

Re: Credit utilization year round?

[ Edited ]
Welcome to the forum!

I don't 'worry' about util cause I usually PIF or keep a very low bal on my cc's just because I've been down that road before. If I can't PIF - then I don't need to buy and I don't like to pay interest. I also rotate usage on my cc's as well. There are some lenders that routinely sp but that doesn't concern me cause I have a thicker file and I tend to think that helps me.

Edit: I also agree with Tinu about the auto CLI from lenders. Good point!
Frequent Contributor
Stralem
Posts: 411
Registered: ‎10-08-2011

Re: Credit utilization year round?

I think about my util only in the sense that I don't want to bury myself under a ton of debt. That keeping util in check also puts me in ideal position to app for more credit is merely a bonus.

            
なかなかいいコレクションだよな~
Valued Contributor
FocusedAndDetermined
Posts: 6,246
Registered: ‎01-05-2013

Re: Credit utilization year round?


tinuviel wrote:

I keep a close eye on managing my util thoughout the year. The reason is twofold. First, as you mentioned, is that creditors check on you via SP. I don't want to have my CLs reduced due to high util, nor do I want to be passed up for potential CLIs. And secondly, keeping my util low imposes a sense of discipline, ensuring that my spending won't get out of hand. My rule is that, barring any emergency expenses that I've chosen to spread out over time, anything that I charge needs to be paid within the current billing cycle. I'm effectively treating my cards as quasi-debit cards, using them for day to day purchases and collecting the rewards. I spent years under a pile of CC debt and successfully dug myself out. I don't ever want to be in that position again, so making certain that I PIF and keep my reported util very low has helped to ensure that I continue to live within my means.


Well said!

Valued Contributor
Stonemanmv
Posts: 1,246
Registered: ‎04-23-2013

Re: Credit utilization year round?

What's the highest. UtL that can be use without getting into trouble?

SIlver:

Frequent Contributor
CreditJunkie917
Posts: 399
Registered: ‎01-08-2013

Re: Credit utilization year round?

well that would depend on what your CLs are, and what you have going on in your financial life at the time. Because my NFCU card has the highest limit at $10K, it's my everyday card. for the past month, I've put about $3K into, but the last two statement cuts have been $500, $700. I think it's up to the individual on how high they want to go, and what they see as manageable for them specifically.

Amex Plat.(NPSL) Amex PRG(NPSL), Amex BCE($6K), Amex Hilton($1K), NavCheck ($15K), NFCU CR Siggy($14.4K), USAA Amex($7K), USAA World MC($7K), CSP($5K), Chase Marriott($5K), Care Credit($2.5K), Cap1 QS($3.5K), VS($500), Cap1 Secure($200)
Starting Scores(Jan 2013): FICO EQ: 643, TU: 552, EX: 567
Current Scores(June 15, 2014): FICO EQ: 685, TU: 703, EX: 685
In the Garden FOR-EV-ER!!!!! Cards and goals achieved! Let's grow and mature these babies!!!



Valued Contributor
Stonemanmv
Posts: 1,246
Registered: ‎04-23-2013

Re: Credit utilization year round?

I have discover it with 6000 limit and have 3200 on it and cap 1 750 limit with 350 on it and us bank rewards 500 limit with 301 on it. Anyways I plan on pif at the end of the month don't want my cl lowered

SIlver:

Senior Contributor
longtimelurker
Posts: 5,372
Registered: ‎04-22-2013

Re: Credit utilization year round?

As one of those who has frequently made the statement referred to (don't worry about utility unless you are apping), maybe I should clarify.  It's more:

 

Don't micro-manage your utility unless you are (or might be soon) apping.

 

 

So by that I mean it isn't (usually) necessary to optimize score by religously ensuring each and every month  that exactly one card reports a balance and the others all show 0, unless you are apping.

 

But of course it always makes sense, for reasons mentioned by others, to keep utility in "decent" shape, so the discussion is really about the how much effort should be expended on this in non-app periods.

Most active cards: Amex BC ($50K), Cap One QS ($33K) Fidelity Amex ($20K)
Others: CSP, Freedom, Chase Amazon, Cap One QS, Penfed Plat Rewards (x2), Citi TY Preferred, Citi Dividend, Citi AA Plat Select, Citi Forward, Amex BCE, Amalgamated Bank, Sallie Mae, Cash Plus
Scores May 14: EQ 848, EX 833, TU 841 (Jul)
Valued Contributor
Stonemanmv
Posts: 1,246
Registered: ‎04-23-2013

Re: Credit utilization year round?

Yah I'm going to spend some time in the garden not going to app til next year

SIlver:


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