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Does "Auto Pay" screw up your util. on FICO scores??


Does "Auto Pay" screw up your util. on FICO scores??

Hello, I'm sorry for asking a dumb question like this, but I tried searching the forums for an answer and no luck...


Ever since discovering this forum a couple of weeks ago, I've learned a TON about FICO scores, AAoA's, # of Inquiries, etc. The one I want to ask about is UTILIZATION. I've heard that there is a difference between carrying a balance forward (i.e. spending $2000, paying off $1500 and letting $500 roll over to next month is carrying a balance) vs. having a balance report to the credit companies. For example, if I plan on paying the account in full, spend $1000, and don't pay it off until right before the statement due date, will $1000 be reported to the bureaus?


If I'm understanding this correctly, that means that, since a lot of the CC companies "Auto Pay" features pay the balance towards the end of the cycle (i.e. Chase- day of statement due date Discover- 10 days before due date), wouldn't that increase your utilization, therefore theoretically hurting your FICO score?


Disclaimer: I always pay in full every month, and never carry a balance unless I'm taking advantage of a 0% Balance Transfer APR promo.  I love auto pay, I have it set up on most of my accounts to pay the full statement amount. However, most of my accounts besides Discover will post that payment on the day of the statement due date. I want to increase my FICO score, and if that means having to cancel my auto pays and start paying my balance in full right after receiving the statement, I am prepared to do that...


Thanks so much in advance for the help!


Message 1 of 4
Established Contributor

Re: Does "Auto Pay" screw up your util. on FICO scores??

I do not believe auto pay will effect you that much. Especially if your utilization is under 7%. What I have found is having forward balances on 5 or more of my accounts hurts me on TU but not EQ. For some reason TU does not like three or more cc's showing a fwd/reported balance when you have a house and car loan, (total 5 accounts). My TU dropped about 16 points for that issue, however my EQ increased (other little positives helping) one of which is 45 months since last reported late payment. TU also doesn't seem to use balances as one cc only reported  $ 39.00.  I too always PIF, but I use each lesser important cc once every 5 or 6 months to keep them active.

Starting scores 01/02/2012 EQ 707(Fico) TU 733(Fico)XP 735 (FAKO)
Updated scores 05/01/17 EQ 824, TU 812 EXP 810 (all Fico scores) Remember the Three P's: Pay early in Full, Pay on Time, Patience
Message 2 of 4
Established Contributor

Re: Does "Auto Pay" screw up your util. on FICO scores??

Maybe, more so for someone who is establishing or rebuilding credit and might use up a high percentage of his/her available credit each month.  For someone who has established credit and the credit limits that go with that (or puts alot of spending on a charge card), not paying until after the statement cuts will have a very minimal effect.  I've never concerned myself with utilization and have always paid after the statement cuts, even when I was considering applying for more credit, and I've still always been appoved.

FICOs (2/24/12): EX 752, EQ 740
Chase Sapphire Preferred, Freedom; American Express PR Gold, Blue Cash Everyday
Message 3 of 4

Re: Does "Auto Pay" screw up your util. on FICO scores??

Ok, thanks for the advice! I was thinking the same thing, that as long as my credit history is established enough and my overall limit is high (I think my cumulative is around 15k, plus 2 Amex chargers), so it probably won't affect it too much. I also need to pay back those balance transfers, as having those lines maxed out definity forces my util up quite a bit anyway Smiley Indifferent

Message 4 of 4