cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

Established Contributor

How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

I finally learned my new accounts' statement dates -- all cut on different dates. But I have it down pat for this month! LOL... By Friday I wil have gone from 72% util to 1% How long do I need to keep this "game" up in order to maximize my FICO score... a month, 2 months? Eventually will my credit score just plateau? The only reason why I ask is because it takes a lot of diligence to remember 5 different dates, etc.

Thanks for your input...  Smiley Happy

May 2013 Starting Scores: 540's-570's
July 2016 Scores: 654-705 ...No Lates, CA's or CO's, new car + high Util
Current Cards: SDFCU Secured ($300); Logix Secured ($500); Tobyhanna/Penfed FCU ($5000); NFCU CLOC ( $15,000); NFCU Refi ($18,144) Sony Visa ($3000); Apple PC'd to Rewards MC ($1200); Barclay Rewards MC ($1300); B&N ($500); Discover ($1000); 'Credit Steps' ($2300), QS One ($750);Care Credit ($9000); US Bank Platinum ($5000); Fifth Third SU2C ($3000); Kay's/Jared's ($4700); Target ($2000); Fingerhut/Gettington ($2250); **All my favorite retail cards ($61,000)..Luv'Em..they get heavy use!
Message 1 of 23
22 REPLIES
Super Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???


toi34 wrote:

I finally learned my new accounts' statement dates -- all cut on different dates. But I have it down pat for this month! LOL... By Friday I wil have gone from 72% util to 1% How long do I need to keep this "game" up in order to maximize my FICO score... a month, 2 months? Eventually will my credit score just plateau? The only reason why I ask is because it takes a lot of diligence to remember 5 different dates, etc.

Thanks for your input...  Smiley Happy


As long as you like Smiley Wink

Before you app think...
Have you done your research of the CC?
Does it fit your spending?
Do you have a plan for the bonus w/o going into debt?
Can you afford the AF?
Do you know the cards benefits? Is it worth the HP?
Message 2 of 23
Valued Member

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???


toi34 wrote:

I finally learned my new accounts' statement dates -- all cut on different dates. But I have it down pat for this month! LOL... By Friday I wil have gone from 72% util to 1% How long do I need to keep this "game" up in order to maximize my FICO score... a month, 2 months? Eventually will my credit score just plateau? The only reason why I ask is because it takes a lot of diligence to remember 5 different dates, etc.

Thanks for your input...  Smiley Happy


You can call and ask each company to change your statement dates.

Message 3 of 23
Established Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

LOL! Will I reap great FICO rewards every month  that I keep this up?

May 2013 Starting Scores: 540's-570's
July 2016 Scores: 654-705 ...No Lates, CA's or CO's, new car + high Util
Current Cards: SDFCU Secured ($300); Logix Secured ($500); Tobyhanna/Penfed FCU ($5000); NFCU CLOC ( $15,000); NFCU Refi ($18,144) Sony Visa ($3000); Apple PC'd to Rewards MC ($1200); Barclay Rewards MC ($1300); B&N ($500); Discover ($1000); 'Credit Steps' ($2300), QS One ($750);Care Credit ($9000); US Bank Platinum ($5000); Fifth Third SU2C ($3000); Kay's/Jared's ($4700); Target ($2000); Fingerhut/Gettington ($2250); **All my favorite retail cards ($61,000)..Luv'Em..they get heavy use!
Message 4 of 23
Super Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???


toi34 wrote:

LOL! Will I reap great FICO rewards every month  that I keep this up?


I go 4-5 months after an app spree to recover and improve scores

The first month I suffer from INQ's and new accounts reporting dings YMMV 

It works for me

Before you app think...
Have you done your research of the CC?
Does it fit your spending?
Do you have a plan for the bonus w/o going into debt?
Can you afford the AF?
Do you know the cards benefits? Is it worth the HP?
Message 5 of 23
Valued Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

This is a temporary score effect. The first time you don't do this. Your score will drop again.

Too many INQs & low AAoA so I'm off to tend the Garden.     Age:23    


     $17k       $8.5K          Closed          $19k      $6.5k        $24.2k        Closed         $5k       Closed     $8.5k        Closed      @2.49%
Message 6 of 23
Senior Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

To clarify, the premise of your question suggests that you believe your score improves based on continued good credit behavior.  This is a common misconception.  You do not earn FICO points for continued low utilization or for any other good credit practice.  A credit score is generated by feeding the information on a credit report through an algorithm.  The score is based solely on the information that is currently on the report.  There is no memory for what was on there previously.  You could religiously observe the 1-9% rule for years and all else being equal, you would end up with the same score if you had instead had your cards near maxed out for years and then paid them down to 1-9% the following month.


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 7 of 23
Frequent Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

Like the other poster suggested, you should ask the credit companies to change your due date so that they fall on the same day. I never had an issue having the due date that's convenient for me, whether it was with Cap One, Amex, Chase or Discover. I actually contacted Amex a few days ago so that my auto pay with them would be on the 15th of the month, which is the same with my other credit card. I know with Cap One and Discover, you can do it online. 

Message 8 of 23
Valued Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

I have mind spread out so I can plan my bill payments after new statements post. So I pay the cards down/off, let that post then use as needed and keep the cycle going. That allows me to use them, get a few weeks of use then pay them. I have a pretty good system going. I've been doing that for a few of my cards.

As for your score, it's a snapshot of what's going on now for utilization plus your past payment history, average age, ect. Last month I had a card report a $1500. balance. This month it reported $27. I gained 7 points after that hit my reports. Another card showed $3500. last month. The statement just closed at $971. My utilization will be 7% after that hits my reports in a few days. Hoping to gain another 5-8 points then maybe a few more from a $1550. CLI last month. I'll work on other CLIs then. If I get them that will further lower my utilization . I'm going to keep the <10% game going then.

As was mentioned, let the balances report higher and watch your score go lower.
Cap 1 - $23,000 / Lowe’s - $17,000 / Barclay Rewards - $16,400. / Capital 1 - $15,000 / Walmart - $15,000
Cap 1 - $12,000 / PenFed - $10,000 / Penney - $10,000 / Barclay Apple Rewards - $4000 / Merrick - $2500


EQ - 740 / TU - 748 / EX - 748
Message 9 of 23
Super Contributor

Re: How Long Do I Play the 1-9% Game???

If I am not bothered with applying for any kind of new credit, I usually let balances report. It does hurt when you have one or more card being maxed out, but at the same time it does show usage.
JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Message 10 of 23