You can make your minimum early in the cycle - I often do - just to be sure you don't miss the due date.
However! be careful if you make either multiple or large payments in the statement cycle with some companies. They will hold your available credit anywhere from 24 hours to 10 business days. Sometimes they'll hold it if you make even a slightly larger payment than last time. Crap One did this to me, after months of paying off a $3400 balance several times since November. They released $900 of the payment, and are still holding $600. They would not release it, even after I offered to conference call to my bank to confirm that it cleared. Grrr.
HSBC/Orchard/Direct Merchants may also hold, although Direct was very helpful in releasing the hold on a large payment. The Merrick cards will do it, too, as will WAMU from time to time. State Farm has never done that to me, nor has Citi. US Bank is great about it.
So, be careful if you do that - you may want to call a CSR or supervisor to ensure your payment isn't held for a really long time. I was steamed. I'm not in the business of floating money to credit card company.
I've kept track of my scores relating to my util, and once I got it below 28%, the scores did jump. They'll also fall just as fast if your util increases, either as a group or on individual cards.
Lastly, don't try to catch the statement closing date too close. For USAA, for instance, you have to have the payment posted the day BEFORE the statement close date, because it closes at 12:01 a.m. that morning. That means making the payment the day before THAT. My past score hits have born this out. :-)
Good luck! Util is the fastest way you can noticably improve your scores.
Message Edited by wingwalker on 07-11-200708:33 PM
you can always give some calls to get your CL increased, which is an easy way of lowering your util...say something like you will be making some significant purchases and would like to use this card instead of CC company X and you would like them to increase the limit. If they ask you how much, ask them how much they can approve you for.