Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure

Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-08-2012
0 Kudos

Question about what order to pay cards in

This is my first post here, hardcore Googling over the questions I'm asking led me to discovering these forums. As such, I do apologize if this is something that's been covered frequently - I'm just having a very difficult time finding answers.


I'm in the process of paying off my balances and will be going thermonuclear on them once I receive my next check, depleting the cash I have saved and hanging onto my check. I'm curious about how the credit card utilization percentage is calculated. I've always heard to keep at under 20%, but is that 20% of total balances or 20% on each individual card?


Also, I have a credit card that was closed by the lender about a year ago while I was still in college. Does the balance/limit that's left on that get weighted as part of my credit card utilization? I ask because on Credit Karma (not the most reliable source, I know) it lists as an installment account. Knowing one way or the other would help me decide which order to attack the cards.


Lastly, I tried to do the trial here to see my FICO score and see if the subscription was worth it, but it gave me an error. When I called, I was told to contact Equifax because they were apparently reporting no credit history for me, but when I called Equifax they had no problem pulling up my information. Has anyone been in a similar situation, and if so is there any advice for getting the situation resolved? Right now I can't even buy the subscription-based FICO products.


Thanks for any help!

Established Contributor
Posts: 731
Registered: ‎02-15-2012
0 Kudos

Re: Question about what order to pay cards in

Closed accounts factor into utilization only if the credit limit and balance are both still being reported.  If one is missing then it doesn't count.  I would definitely recommend paying your cards off in order of highest interest rate to lowest, saving money is almost always more important than a temporary score bump.  If they're all the same rate, then getting them all below 20% is good, then pay them off one by one.  Actually, anymore than 10% utilization on a card can hurt your score, so you could get them all below 10%, then pay them off one by one.

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

Forums posts are not provided or commissioned by FICO. Forums posts have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by FICO. It is not FICO's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

† Advertiser Disclosure: The listings that appear on myFICO are from companies from which myFICO receives compensation, which may impact how and where products appear on myFICO (including, for example, the order in which they appear). myFICO does not review or include all companies or all available products.
‡ Credit cards for FICO Score ranges: The score ranges are guidelines based on internal myFICO analysis of actual applicant approvals, and having a FICO Score in a particular range does not guarantee you will be approved for credit cards recommended in that range. These ranges were not provided by any card issuer.

* For complete information, see the terms and conditions on the credit card issuer’s website. Once you click apply for this card, you will be directed to the issuer’s website where you may review the terms and conditions of the card before applying. While myFICO always strives to present the most accurate information, we show a summary to help you choose a product, not the full legal terms - and before applying you should understand the full terms of products as stated by the issuer itself.

Copyright ©2001-2015 Fair Isaac Corporation. All rights reserved.   | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All FICO® Score products made available on include a FICO® Score 8, along with additional FICO® Score versions. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than the versions you receive from myFICO, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more

FICO, myFICO, Score Watch, The score lenders use, and The Score That Matters are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation. Equifax Credit Report is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. and its affiliated companies. Many factors affect your FICO Score and the interest rates you may receive. Fair Isaac is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Fair Isaac does not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating. FTC's website on credit.