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Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

Frequent Contributor

Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

 I have 7 cards with a combined availability of over 30k and maintain a 1 or 2% utilization on just one card. I never let 2 cards report a balance. My question is: Does it affect  ones credit scores if I maintain less than 10% utilization but allow 2 cards report a balance. I guess another way to pose the question: Is it okay to let more cards report a balance if a person has a lot of cards. An example: 4 cards, with 1 reporting a balance, 8 cards with 2 reporting a balance, 12 cards with 3 reporting a balance and so on? Keeping in mind to never let the total utilization exceed 10%.

Equifax FICO 781, Transunion FICO 821, Experian FICO 807,

810 goal on all three by 3-1-2015
Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES
Super Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

I'm not an expert, but from my reading in the forums it seems like the general advice is that you should only have one card reporting a balance. Somewhere I read even if its two cards reporting a balance with great utilization over all you take a hit. Not sure if the hit is less with the more accounts you have.

;
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
Message 2 of 12
Super Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?


Slab wrote:

 I have 7 cards with a combined availability of over 30k and maintain a 1 or 2% utilization on just one card. I never let 2 cards report a balance. My question is: Does it affect  ones credit scores if I maintain less than 10% utilization but allow 2 cards report a balance. I guess another way to pose the question: Is it okay to let more cards report a balance if a person has a lot of cards. An example: 4 cards, with 1 reporting a balance, 8 cards with 2 reporting a balance, 12 cards with 3 reporting a balance and so on? Keeping in mind to never let the total utilization exceed 10%.


For max scoring purposes the rule is 1 card 1-9% but if you don't plan on applying for any cards it doesn't matter if it's 12 cards 1-9% UTL

hope this helps

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 3 of 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

You have nothing to worry about - There is nothing wrong with having small balances across a few cards.

 

Credit grantors will decline for "too many accounts showing a balance" only when the majority of your cards are utilized over 10%.

 

 

Message 4 of 12
Regular Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

I am at a 19% UTIL right now. i have paid it down from 29% and seen an increase on my report, but thats with 4 cards reporting. Try letting 3 or 4 cards report and see if the score goes up or down.

Message 5 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?


Slab wrote:

 I have 7 cards with a combined availability of over 30k and maintain a 1 or 2% utilization on just one card. I never let 2 cards report a balance. My question is: Does it affect  ones credit scores if I maintain less than 10% utilization but allow 2 cards report a balance. I guess another way to pose the question: Is it okay to let more cards report a balance if a person has a lot of cards. An example: 4 cards, with 1 reporting a balance, 8 cards with 2 reporting a balance, 12 cards with 3 reporting a balance and so on? Keeping in mind to never let the total utilization exceed 10%.


General advice is to minimize (or optimize) your util by keeping it to <9%, for score purposes; to maximize your score.  However, if you're not applying for credit and need a max score, does this really matter?  In my opinion, no.  I currently have multiple cards reporting a balance but my total util is ~5% and no card is over 20% on util (took advantage of some BT a while back).  Scores have hovered in the upper 700s-low 800s.  Depends on what you want to accomplish.

EX = 849 EQ = 850 TU = 850 as of 07/2017
Retired and Retiring Cards!
Message 6 of 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

The general rule doesn't work for me.  I've played around with 1-4 cards reporting, most significant gain or loss was going from 1 card reporting to 4 reporting, saw a 9 point increase. So who knows anymore. Util under 10% in all scenarios. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve $32.5K, Amex BCP $20K, Amex PRG NPSL, Amex Hilton $12,000, Discover It $16,000, Citi Hilton $16,200, Citi TYP $14,400, US Bank Cash+ Visa Sig $12,000, Virgin Atlantic World Elite MC $13,100, Merrill+ Visa Sig $10,000, Fidelity Visa Sig $10,000, Barclay Cash Forward $16,500, Wells Fargo Rewards $12,500, Local CU $7000, Barclay Apple Rewards $5500, Chase Freedom $5000, Cap One Cash $2500,-- EQ FICO 768, EX FICO 777, TU FICO 781
Message 7 of 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

Thanks for all of the great information. I think I will let 2 report just to see the effects. I am gardening right now so, nothing at stake and might be more informed by the experience.

Equifax FICO 781, Transunion FICO 821, Experian FICO 807,

810 goal on all three by 3-1-2015
Message 8 of 12
Super Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?


Slab wrote:

Thanks for all of the great information. I think I will let 2 report just to see the effects. I am gardening right now so, nothing at stake and might be more informed by the experience.


Just remember some other (small) things happen as well as you experiment, your AAoA increases by one month, time since latest new account and age of inquiries all increase as well.   So small changes (such as the 9 points) can be at least in part  explained by such things.

 

 

Message 9 of 12
Mega Contributor

Re: Should I ever let more than 1 card report a balance?

If your not applying for new credit it does not matter how many cards have balances.

Just make sure you watch interest on the balances.



EQ FICO 548 3/3/16
Message 10 of 12