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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 263
Registered: ‎08-14-2011
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Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

I don't suppose that there is anything I can do about this, but I find it frustrating.

 

I use my AmEx (Costco) to pay all my monthly bills and personal purchases to get the cash back.  I have a monthlly bill that I always pay off completely every month in the $3,000 - $4,000 range.   But when AmEx reports this balance it looks like I carry a farily large amount of debt month to month when it really is $0.  Thus my Util shows as higher than it should and my CR is lower than it should be.

 

It seems to me that this wouldn't be an accurate measure of my credit use for credit rating purposes.  Is there some reason that they couldn't just report any amount that isn't paid in full at the end of the cycle?

 

This combines with the vague way my Visa Signature reports (or dosen't) credit limits for my BOfA credit card.  I have a $17k limit on the visa and a $10K limit on the AmEx and the util should have been about 14%.  However, since the Visa Signature doesn't report my actual CL, it got reported as more like 40% which really dinged my CR.

 

Oh, and back before I understood why my Visa Signature CL wasn't being reported accurately I called a Bank of America rep and complained about it.  I wasn't asking for an increase, but the little nit-wit gave me a hard credit check for my trouble.  That lowered my score even lower and really tweaked me.

 

I improved my util a bit by having my AmEx CL doubled to $20k.  (it was gratifying to hear the rep reveal that she didn't think I would be approved by stating I should get a letter in the mail in 6-10 days, then abruptly change her tune when it was immediately approved)    However, as little as 15% affects my CR.  It lists it as one of my only baddies.

 

I'm more or less just venting here.  I don't really think that they will change the way they report balances or CL. I'd just like to see my score go above 800.

 

bobebob  - myFICO Equifax 793

bobebob || Nov: My FICO SW EQ(Upgraded Version) = 822 ||Sept: Walmart TU Fico=838Goal = FICO's>800 || In my wallet: CostcoAmEx(20k), DCU Visa Platinum (10k), BoA Visa Signature (17.1k), Walmart Discover (7.5k), AmEx Corporate (5k). All PIF every month.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,682
Registered: ‎07-29-2009
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Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

Have you thought about paying your balance before the statement cut date so that the balance reports zero, or close to it?

 

You don't have to let a balance report if you don't wish to.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,486
Registered: ‎08-14-2011
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Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

[ Edited ]

The balance reported is whatever balance is on the card on the day that AMEX reports it.  Say your balance gets reported on the 20th of every month and your due date is the 21st.

 

Your CL is $60k and on August 20th your balance is $600, so AMEX reports and your UTL is 1%.  Then between August 21 and September 18 your rack up $50k in charges but pay 40,001 on September 19.  AMEX reports again on September 20th and this time your UTL is 16.7%.  Obviously you still want to pay the remaining $10k before the 21st to avoid paying interest, but your UTL is based on the UTL on the day your balance gets reported and won't be 0 even if you PIF on your due date.

 

 

In My Wallet:
AMEX BCE, Citi Forward, Chase Freedom

In My Sockdrawer:
AMEX Clear, Citi Platinum Select, US Bank Platinum, J.Crew
Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

It's an easy fix. Just pull up your online statements, see what date is on each of them (check over several months --some vary by several days), and then pay online a few days before.

 

It's called playing the FICO util game. Very popular around here, with endless variations. Smiley Wink

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,486
Registered: ‎08-14-2011
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Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

What date is the OP looking for?

In My Wallet:
AMEX BCE, Citi Forward, Chase Freedom

In My Sockdrawer:
AMEX Clear, Citi Platinum Select, US Bank Platinum, J.Crew
Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF


ptrutkowski wrote:

What date is the OP looking for?


??  --sorry, don't know what you're asking. I didn't see anything in OP's post asking about a specific date.

 

If you're asking when CC's update, 99% of them update on their statement dates, which are different for every consumer, thus the advice to pull up previous statements and check the dates on those.

 

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
0

Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

 


bobebob wrote:

I don't suppose that there is anything I can do about this, but I find it frustrating.

 

I use my AmEx (Costco) to pay all my monthly bills and personal purchases to get the cash back.  I have a monthlly bill that I always pay off completely every month in the $3,000 - $4,000 range.   But when AmEx reports this balance it looks like I carry a farily large amount of debt month to month when it really is $0.  Thus my Util shows as higher than it should and my CR is lower than it should be.

 

It seems to me that this wouldn't be an accurate measure of my credit use for credit rating purposes.  Is there some reason that they couldn't just report any amount that isn't paid in full at the end of the cycle? ...

 

bobebob  - myFICO Equifax 793


Hi, OP, I didn't notice this the first time through, but this is something that I've griped about forever.

 

The choice of which figure to report to the credit bureaus was made by lenders. A very, very few of them (US Bank, HSBC and Orchard bank cards) chose to report the balance due as of the last business day of the month, although it looks like HSBC is backing away from that. But AFAIK, none of them chose to report the balance due as of the due date, which obviously makes too much sense.  Smiley Mad

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,486
Registered: ‎08-14-2011
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Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

^Good to know that US Bank reports the balance on the last day of the month.  Before I started reading these forums I too thought that your balance on the due date was the balance that got reported and was important (wouldn't that be nice?).

 

 

I'm hoping my score will go up a few more points now that I know better than to just pay before the due date.  I'm excited because it's a simple thing I can do to help my score.  OP you're in the same boat!

In My Wallet:
AMEX BCE, Citi Forward, Chase Freedom

In My Sockdrawer:
AMEX Clear, Citi Platinum Select, US Bank Platinum, J.Crew
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 263
Registered: ‎08-14-2011
0

Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF

Yeah I guess I'll have to make a decision to either live with the hassel of paying before the statement is final and probably have to add a little after it comes out to gain a few points or just stick with the auto pay @ 14 days after statement posts.

 

I think I'll stick with the convenience of leaving it the way it is.  It'd be nice to see 800, but realistically I wouldn't get any better deals than I get with 793 now. Maybe I could get them to hike my CL again to lower my util?  Smiley Tongue

 

I appreciate the suggestions though.  I hadn't considered the timing.

bobebob || Nov: My FICO SW EQ(Upgraded Version) = 822 ||Sept: Walmart TU Fico=838Goal = FICO's>800 || In my wallet: CostcoAmEx(20k), DCU Visa Platinum (10k), BoA Visa Signature (17.1k), Walmart Discover (7.5k), AmEx Corporate (5k). All PIF every month.
Established Member
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎08-07-2011
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Re: Utilization Reported High Even Though PIF


haulingthescoreup wrote:

It's an easy fix. Just pull up your online statements, see what date is on each of them (check over several months --some vary by several days), and then pay online a few days before.

 

It's called playing the FICO util game. Very popular around here, with endless variations. Smiley Wink


Hi haulingthescoreup -- I am in a simliar perdicament with the Chase Marriott Rewards Visa siggy.  It first reported the initial balance ($703) with $0 CL and $0 high balance.  I've racked-up the card to around $4,000 in charges and would *like* to PIF *before* the statement closing date; however, I'm curious to know if they'll actually report the highest balance to the CRAs *or* just the statement balance.

 

Any ideas?  Thanks!

Rebuilding my credit since 2/2007; starting scores:
TU 584 | EQ 572 | EX 591
Scores as of 7/2011:
TU 738 | EQ 707 | EX 730 (Experian PLUS Score)

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