07-21-2009 07:34 PM
This is my first post and I apologize if the answers are obvious or easy to find. I tried searching, but I don't think I was able to find the exact answers to my questions.
For a while I was using my Costco Amex for 95% of my spending every month (sometimes up to $3000). Then when I was refinancing my mortgage, I saw on my credit report the following - "AMOUNT OWED ON REVOLVING ACCOUNTS IS TOO HIGH" (Experian), "PROPORTION OF BALANCE TO HIGH CREDIT ON REVOLVINGS ACCOUNTS" (TransUnion, Equifax). Then after doing a search and reading some of the posts here I realized that I should instead be spreading my spending across multiple cards to keep the revolving balance low (right?).
So now I've started using 3 different cards (AmEx, VISA, and MC). My question is should I be paying the "statement balance" on the cards after the cycle closes and the individual websites actually start showing the statement balance, or should I be paying the "current balance" few days before the statement close date? (and is this what "PIF" means?). I used to pay the current balance on the AmEx for a while, then started paying the statement balance a few months ago. My scores seem to have gone down a tad and are just hovering above 800 (805, 808, 801 for Experian, Transunion, and Equifax respectively) and I don't want them to go under 800!
07-21-2009 09:02 PM
Welcome to the forums.
Credit card utilization accounts for 30% of your FICO score. Utilization is the percentage of your available credit that you're using, in other words your total credit card balances divided by the sum total of your credit limits. For example, if you have $10000 in total credit card limits and $3000 in total balances, your utilization is 30%. FICO scoring takes in to account both individual card utilization and total combined utilization. For maximum scoring, you want your utilization to be at 9% or less.
You want to pay before the credit bureau reporting date. For most cards, it's the date of the statement, but a select few report on the last business day of the month. You can search the forums for your particular cards to see when they report to the bureaus.
Are those true FICO scores you're listing? I ask because Experian scores are no longer sold directly to the public, and are only available with a mortgage application or if you're a member of PSECU, a credit union in PA. If they are indeed FICO scores, then they're excellent, once you get to 760 you're in the top bracket, and there's no credit advantage once they go higher. In terms of credit, there is no difference between a 761 and a 849.
07-21-2009 09:09 PM
07-21-2009 11:21 PM
Thanks for the advice! To answer your question, I got these scores when refinancing my mortgage.
07-21-2009 11:22 PM
07-22-2009 01:54 AM
Awesome scores, teej!
A whole lot of folks here would love to be in your position...you could take a 40 point hit to your FICOs and still have excellent credit!
(Feel free to let us know how you got to this enviable position over the years).
07-22-2009 04:51 AM
"My scores seem to have gone down a tad and are just hovering above 800 (805, 808, 801 for Experian, Transunion, and Equifax respectively) and I don't want them to go under 800! "
Oh...You Too???? (then someone slapped me awake!)
Sweet scores my friend! And you're new here? Looks like you could step in & teach some of us a thing or 2.
07-22-2009 12:19 PM
LOL I really am not sure why exactly I have these scores. I'm 31, moved to the U.S in 1995 for college, and the first time I got a credit card was in college. From what I remember I had a few cards by the time I graduated, but I don't think I was good at paying the full balances. I actually had racked up quite a bit of debt (~15k or so) in my first couple of years after college so I'm sure my scores were pretty bad then. Then I got my parents to help me pay off the debt, and ever since then I've been good about paying all my credit card bills on time and at least the statement balances. Like I said in my first post though, I was actually paying the full balance on the AmEx for a couple of years every month.
I think using my credit cards a lot in the beginning jumped up my credit lines (I have anywhere between 15k-30k in individual credit lines), but I haven't been carrying balances the last 5-6 years.
I pay my bills on time, but there have been 3-4 times when I didn't. I always tried to call them up and get them to waive the fine and request that it doesn't get reported.
I don't have any student loans and both my wife and my car are paid off. I have a mortgage.
Hope the info helped. Let me know if you have specific questions.