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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,554
Registered: ‎11-10-2012
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Question About Utilization...

Hello all,

As I understand it, for optimum FICO scoring, I should have a utilization of 9% or less on one card (preferably the highest CL card) and report $0 on the others. My question is, I have 9 accounts...so is it ok to have two cards report at 9% with the others at $0? I presume that 2 out of 9 cards reporting at 9% or less, with a total utilization under 9% would be just as desirable credit score wise. Thanks for your input and opinions, as always.

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,715
Registered: ‎03-07-2013
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Re: Question About Utilization...

for optimum, i would go with one card reporting and the rest zero...



GARDEN GOAL: MARCH 2014
LAST APP: 08/20/2013
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,616
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Question About Utilization...

Ten is just a round number, which is why people suggest less than ten percent. Less than ten is better than less than twenty, but that's about it. One card with a balance is best, but I have had scores well past 800 with two cards having balances. All of this works best, when you have spanky clean credit reports.

 

Are you living within your means?
Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎11-10-2012
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Re: Question About Utilization...


my-own-fico wrote:

Ten is just a round number, which is why people suggest less than ten percent. Less than ten is better than less than twenty, but that's about it. One card with a balance is best, but I have had scores well past 800 with two cards having balances. All of this works best, when you have spanky clean credit reports.

 


Thank you for your help...and you're the very first diamond gardener I've seen...lol!

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Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎11-10-2012
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Re: Question About Utilization...


djc1puno wrote:

for optimum, i would go with one card reporting and the rest zero...


Thanks...that's what I figured...lol.

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 4,794
Registered: ‎06-05-2013
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Re: Question About Utilization...

[ Edited ]

indiolatino61 wrote:

so is it ok to have two cards report at 9% with the others at $0?

You'd really have to clearly state what you mean by "ok".  Some are ok with more of an impact, some want to squeeze out every possible point.

 

Plus you'd have to do some testing to verify as the impact of this is going to vary from person to person.

 

I don't bother with this and all my accounts report balances.  Despite that, number of balances is really one of the smaller factors currently affecting my score.  YMMV.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎04-05-2013
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Re: Question About Utilization...

[ Edited ]

I don't worry about my FICO score from month to month. I only concern myself with FICO scores when I know I will app or ask for CLI within 30-60 days (or 2 billing cycles). Utilization is important, but the myfico community is fervent (i.e., fanatics) about different aspect of credit card management and these preferences and "best case/optimal" scenarios start looking like hard fast rules.

 

Before I apped for Amex and Discover on October 31st my lender-pulled Experian FICO score was 691 and Equifax was 640 (I was approved for both). When I apped my utilitization was:

 

BankofAmerica: $0/1000 (0%)

Barclaycard: $491/750 (65%) - mostly AU spending

Chase: $0/1000 (0%)

Walmart: $275/500 (55%) - all AU spending

Overall UTL: $766/3250 (24%)

 

I don't hassle with using each card each month or PIF every month. My opinion is why have several (or many) credit cards if I will pay them off in full every month? Why not just use 1 credit card (or 2) plus my debit card? Credit cards are supposed to ease my financial stress by delaying or extending my repayment period, so why add the stress of juggling which card posts a balance in which month and at how much utilization? Every month? Nah, not for me.

 

My criteria for my own credit management is:

 

1. Don't charge more than I (or my AU) can repay in a reasonable time frame (3-6 moinths max).

2. Don't use every card at the same time; concentrate my spending on 1 main card. (For activity purposes I'll charge less than $20 and PIF on other cards sometimes)

3. Avoid allowing a balance of more than 30% to 50% report on any card (if possible; my Barclay has reported as high as 70% for 2 cycles straight).

4. Avoid a total utilization of more than 30%

 

YMMV, but the above habits work for me very well. I continue to increase my credit worthiness (from 400's to 600's in 18 months) while not having to jump through hoops to maximize my credit potential. I'm not concerned with having very large limits right now or a dozen cards to SD so my method may just be the odd exception.

 

My advice is always to handle your credit according your finacial means and typical spending/managment behavior.

 



Amex BCE: $6000 - Bank of America Cash Rewards: $5000 - Bank of America Better Balance: $1000 - Barclaycard Rewards: $3350 - Capital One Quicksilver: $5000 - Chase Freedom: $1700 - Discover IT: $1200 - Walmart Store: $800
Established Contributor
Posts: 715
Registered: ‎08-26-2011
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Re: Question About Utilization...

I think the steadfast rule of 9% utl is a little over-blown here. I have a whopping 72% utl (hey, life happened...) and still have a 694 TU. The 72% utl is probably hurting my score by 50-60 points.

 

Point being, if you have 9%, 13% or even 18% utl - I can't imagine it will vastly affect your scores that much. Just don't get married and by a house at the same time like I did, lol.

Transunion: 713 FICO (5/13/2014) MyFico
Experian: 789 FICO (4/10/12) Lender Pull
Equifax: 695 FICO (1/10/14) MyFico

My cards: Chase United Mileage Plus 7000CL (3/12), CITI Simplicity 1800CL (9/12), Cap1 Platinum 1000CL (2/10), Cap1 Cash back 1500CL (11/11), Apple Barclay's 2500CL (11/11), Discover IT 6000CL (5/13)

My Primary Financial Goal is to put down my utl%.



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