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Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

New Contributor

Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

I understand that you should keep utilization at 1-9% for the best credit score. Is this with every card? Say you have 2 major credit cards and 2 store cards, do you want to keep utilization on the store cards? Does this mean keep a balance of 1-9% or use up to 9% and then PIF every month? At this point I will do whatever it takes to raise my score and if that means charging a light bulb to my Home Depot card every month I will do it but I am wondering if it is necessary. Should I keep a balance on at least one of my cards or PIF all cards?

 

The second part of my question is does your score raise for keeping low utilization over the course of time? Or once you pay down the balances it raises the most it will the following month?

 

TIA =)


2/12/2014: EQ: 700, EX: 716, TU: 722

NFCU CashRewards $25k | NFCU Navcheck $15k | Home Depot $15k | CSP $12k | Freedom $9k | Sallie Mae $4.5k | Amex BCE $2k | 1FBUSA $1.8k |

Gardening until 2016-2017
11 REPLIES
Moderator

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

If you are going to apply for credit you want the 1-9% of one cards CL reporting all other cards paid off. The more cards that have balances the lower your FICO score will be as you get dinged for too many with balances. Utilization has no memory it is calculated on the spot when someone pulls a report.

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New Contributor

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

Okay, so if you are trying to get more credit, have only ONE card with a 1-9% balance, the rest showing zero balance. As far as maintaining the other cards, how often do you have to use them? Every few months and then pay off the balance right away?


2/12/2014: EQ: 700, EX: 716, TU: 722

NFCU CashRewards $25k | NFCU Navcheck $15k | Home Depot $15k | CSP $12k | Freedom $9k | Sallie Mae $4.5k | Amex BCE $2k | 1FBUSA $1.8k |

Gardening until 2016-2017
New Contributor

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

and you can use them for more than 1-9% as long as you pay it off immediately, right? I just want to get this right.


2/12/2014: EQ: 700, EX: 716, TU: 722

NFCU CashRewards $25k | NFCU Navcheck $15k | Home Depot $15k | CSP $12k | Freedom $9k | Sallie Mae $4.5k | Amex BCE $2k | 1FBUSA $1.8k |

Gardening until 2016-2017
Valued Contributor

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

Use the cards however you like. PIF 3/4 before statement cut and let thr fourth report between 1-9% util. Then PIF that card to avoid interest. Rinse, repeat. Smiley Happy
New Contributor

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

Thank you for the claification!


2/12/2014: EQ: 700, EX: 716, TU: 722

NFCU CashRewards $25k | NFCU Navcheck $15k | Home Depot $15k | CSP $12k | Freedom $9k | Sallie Mae $4.5k | Amex BCE $2k | 1FBUSA $1.8k |

Gardening until 2016-2017
Senior Contributor

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

My answer is posted here:

 

http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit-Cards/How-do-I-play-the-1-9-Utilization-Game-Please-Help/m-p/...





TU-8: 755 EX-8: 771 EQ-8: 763    EX-8 Bankcard: 815    
TU-9 Bankcard: 795 EQ-9: 822
   EX-98: 735 EQ-04: 730
Total $437,800
New Contributor

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

Thank you so much for your answer TheManwhocan, that is exactly what I wanted to know.


2/12/2014: EQ: 700, EX: 716, TU: 722

NFCU CashRewards $25k | NFCU Navcheck $15k | Home Depot $15k | CSP $12k | Freedom $9k | Sallie Mae $4.5k | Amex BCE $2k | 1FBUSA $1.8k |

Gardening until 2016-2017
Highlighted
Established Member

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization


gdale6 wrote:

If you are going to apply for credit you want the 1-9% of one cards CL reporting all other cards paid off. The more cards that have balances the lower your FICO score will be as you get dinged for too many with balances. Utilization has no memory it is calculated on the spot when someone pulls a report.


That's good to hear. I want to apply for a CC after my statement closes and my UTIL will be 15%-ish. When they see my credit report, they cant see that my past 6 months were at 70% UTIL? 

 

So basically my question is, I can apply right away after statement closes and shows 15% UTIL? Or should i wait a few more months to show that my UTIL is 15% at consecutive months and not just only 1 month?  

 

My EQ FICO is 735, no baddies. Only UTIL was holding me back.

Super Contributor

Re: Newbie questions about 1-9% utilization

Your score will be based on the current util. It doesn't matter what the util was the month before. No point in waiting as far as I can see. Just make sure you allow enough time for your CR to be updated with the new util rate. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 826 4/16/17, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019