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How much to put on cards to look good to CRAs?

Established Member

How much to put on cards to look good to CRAs?

Hi, i basically know nothing about credit cards/credit reports. Sorry! I was going to get one secured and one unsecured card, and i was wondering how much to put on each each month to look good to try to boost my credit. I assume putting $5 on each isn't going to do much. Thanks...

 

Ryan

4 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: How much to put on cards to look good to CRAs?

Hi Ryan,

 

I don't think the amount you charge each month will affect your credit. Just make sure you pay the balance in full each month.

Super Contributor

Re: How much to put on cards to look good to CRAs?


theclarkman wrote:

Hi, i basically know nothing about credit cards/credit reports. Sorry! I was going to get one secured and one unsecured card, and i was wondering how much to put on each each month to look good to try to boost my credit. I assume putting $5 on each isn't going to do much. Thanks...

 

Ryan


You don't want balances reporting among several cards.   What ever balance you let report, keep it between 1-9%.  I keep mines at 1%.  But sometimes, I end up with 2% when a creditor throw me for a loop. 

Message Edited by DI on 01-14-2010 12:45 PM
Regular Contributor

Re: How much to put on cards to look good to CRAs?

Clarkman, welcome to the forum!

 

Threre are a number of great resources in the Education area and also some key threads that you can search on to build your expertise.

 

Most of the experienced credit card gurus on the forum:

  • Charge budgeted expenses each month
  • PIF on all but one card before their statements cut
  • Pay the one balance-reporting card upon receipt of the statement

This one technique has helped many better manage their credit cards, boost their FICO scores, and increase their credit opportunities.

 

Good luck on your journey--you are in the right forum to learn greatly.


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Current Score: TU 788 EQ 811
Goal Score: TU 800 EQ 800


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Senior Contributor

Re: How much to put on cards to look good to CRAs?

That is a loaded question and depends on a lot of factors including what your intended use of credit is.  What your income is.  What your rates are if carrying a balance.  What your cash reserves and savings are.  If you are adding to reserves and savings.

 

Personally, I tend to carry more balances than many others.  But I personally don't like a tweaked FICO at all times.  I like a healthy FICO.

 

If you are seeking the best FICO:  then it is straight forwards, 1) low reported balances/utilization (under 7%); 2) low number of accounts with a balance (preferably no more than 3 including home and auto); 3) a small reported balance on 1 card (like $10 to $50) for useage

 

This will optimize your FICO.  However, if you maintain this profile, then you may find AA if it ever changes much.  So if you go a long while always PIF, never a balance, always tweaked FICO, then you may get flagged if that changes much in the future. 

 

Personally, I exercise my credit, not just for keeping it open, but to keep it flexible.  But then again I have a business and often have uses for credit in the normal cycle of cash flow. 

 

The best rule of thumb for debt:  Don't have any.  But of course you must have debt or a history of debt in order to get credit.  Don't finance anything that should be paid by cash.  Pay cash for those things you could finance whenever possible.  Make sure the "return" is greater than the cost when financing.

 

Good luck!

 

 

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09/03/2009 TU: 777, EQ: 776 ($8 balance on an account dropped me out of 780's)
03/28/2009 TU: 814, EQ: 810, EX: 781 (02/12/2009)
05/18/2005 TU: 563, EQ: 580, EX: 549