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When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)

Frequent Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)

Question:  If my statement date is on the 21st of each month for example, and I make a purchase ON the 21st, does that go on that months statement or the next months?  I am trying to time a larger than usual (for me) purchase close to my closing date.

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In second year post 13 DC (12-28-15)
Entered garden 05-19-2017 CLOSED ON MY NEW HOUSE 5/17/17!!!!

Message 21 of 30
Valued Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)


juniebrunner wrote:

Question:  If my statement date is on the 21st of each month for example, and I make a purchase ON the 21st, does that go on that months statement or the next months?  I am trying to time a larger than usual (for me) purchase close to my closing date.


I think it might depend on what time of the day the statement cuts, and may vary by issuer.




TU fico08=820 11/10/17
EX fico08=812 10/25/17
EQ fico08=818 10/25/17
Garden since 4/5/2017
Message 22 of 30
Frequent Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)


sarge12 wrote:

juniebrunner wrote:

Question:  If my statement date is on the 21st of each month for example, and I make a purchase ON the 21st, does that go on that months statement or the next months?  I am trying to time a larger than usual (for me) purchase close to my closing date.


I think it might depend on what time of the day the statement cuts, and may vary by issuer.


I figured.  Gah.  Well I guess I will just go to the next day after.  LOL.

 

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In second year post 13 DC (12-28-15)
Entered garden 05-19-2017 CLOSED ON MY NEW HOUSE 5/17/17!!!!

Message 23 of 30
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)

Good replies.  It varies by a ton of things.  The CC issuer's policies and the merchant in question and the nature of the charge are all factors, as well as the exact time the statement will be cut and the exact time the sale transaction occured.

 

The day after is certain.

Message 24 of 30
Frequent Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)

I only asked because generally when I make a purchase the darn thing is in a Pending status sometimes for a few days.  The amount shows deducted from the CL but the balance still shows $0    So I wondered if thats the case would a Pending transaction actually still be a charge to show until its validated. 

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In second year post 13 DC (12-28-15)
Entered garden 05-19-2017 CLOSED ON MY NEW HOUSE 5/17/17!!!!

Message 25 of 30
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)

Right.  And the answer in theory is "pending transactions are not reported by almost all issuers."  But some transactions, depending on merchant, transaction type, and CC issuer, will be pending for only 5 minutes, while others might be pending for 5 days.  And there may even be issuers who report the "worst case" balance including pending transactions.

 

Thus in theory pending transactions don't count but in practice any particular one could (for the reasons above).

 

That's why folks here advise people who are trying to zero out a particular card to assume that any pending charge could suddenly go through just before statement cut.

Message 26 of 30
New Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)

Still confused with statement dates.  My statement closing date is June 21st.  My payment due date is July 18th.  I don't see anything on my statement about a statement opening date.  So if I want to pay in full in order for the balance to be 0 when the bank reports to the CRA's, when do I pay it???  I read the comments and they all say to pay BEFORE the statement "cuts" so when is that???  If it's the closing date, does June 20th become the defacto due date insofar as the CRA's are concerned???  It cannot possibly be the same month as the payment due date because that would make the payment late.  Very confused.


Revelate wrote:

SouthJamaica wrote:

Leaf wrote:

Say my cards payment due date is on Friday April 21st, does it matter if I pay off the current balance before my due date, or is it better to pay off the entire balance afterwards for that month, April 22nd onward without incurring the interest yet (ie they'll request a minimum payment of say $35 but I just pay it all off instead). 

Want to understand if doing one way is better for the other in terms of affecting credit. 
The main reason I ask is because, I've had a chase freedom credit card for 5 years now with no offer or auto credit limit increase, and am unsure how the actual system works for counting things like utilization. I've always paid off my current balance 1 or 2 days before the cut off /payment due date, so it would be $0 going into the next month's cycle. Would always making a payment prior to the due date make it look like I don't use my card much, therefore have no headroom for requesting a higher limit? 


1. You should never ever pay after the due date, but it wouldn't make a difference to the lender how close to the due date you paid.

2. It could make a difference to your FICO 8 score and to some of your other FICO scores. The optimal credit card utilization is all cards but one reporting a zero balance and one card reporting a sub 10% balance. So that would mean paying all but one of your cards that are in use before the statement cut.


Until those pesky lender algorithms take a look at your account Cat Tongue

 

That said I don't worry about it, if I need to PIF beforehand I do, if not I usually just sloppily pay everything on the 1st of the month roughly.  Financially you just put it on autopay for statement balance and go on with life, keep the money in your pocket for as long as possible rather than giving the the lender the money early (where the get the interest/revenue rather than you) but hey.



Revelate wrote:

SouthJamaica wrote:

Leaf wrote:

Say my cards payment due date is on Friday April 21st, does it matter if I pay off the current balance before my due date, or is it better to pay off the entire balance afterwards for that month, April 22nd onward without incurring the interest yet (ie they'll request a minimum payment of say $35 but I just pay it all off instead). 

Want to understand if doing one way is better for the other in terms of affecting credit. 
The main reason I ask is because, I've had a chase freedom credit card for 5 years now with no offer or auto credit limit increase, and am unsure how the actual system works for counting things like utilization. I've always paid off my current balance 1 or 2 days before the cut off /payment due date, so it would be $0 going into the next month's cycle. Would always making a payment prior to the due date make it look like I don't use my card much, therefore have no headroom for requesting a higher limit? 


1. You should never ever pay after the due date, but it wouldn't make a difference to the lender how close to the due date you paid.

2. It could make a difference to your FICO 8 score and to some of your other FICO scores. The optimal credit card utilization is all cards but one reporting a zero balance and one card reporting a sub 10% balance. So that would mean paying all but one of your cards that are in use before the statement cut.


Until those pesky lender algorithms take a look at your account Cat Tongue

 

That said I don't worry about it, if I need to PIF beforehand I do, if not I usually just sloppily pay everything on the 1st of the month roughly.  Financially you just put it on autopay for statement balance and go on with life, keep the money in your pocket for as long as possible rather than giving the the lender the money early (where the get the interest/revenue rather than you) but hey.


 

Message 27 of 30
New Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)

Still confused with statement dates.  My statement closing date is June 21st.  My payment due date is July 18th.  I don't see anything on my statement about a statement opening date.  So if I want to pay in full in order for the balance to be 0 when the bank reports to the CRA's, when do I pay it???  I read the comments and they all say to pay BEFORE the statement "cuts" so when is that???  If it's the closing date, does June 20th become the defacto due date insofar as the CRA's are concerned???  It cannot possibly be the same month as the payment due date because that would make the payment late.  Very confused.

Message 28 of 30
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)


GambitKing5150 wrote:

Still confused with statement dates.  My statement closing date is June 21st.  My payment due date is July 18th.  I don't see anything on my statement about a statement opening date.  So if I want to pay in full in order for the balance to be 0 when the bank reports to the CRA's, when do I pay it???  I read the comments and they all say to pay BEFORE the statement "cuts" so when is that???  If it's the closing date, does June 20th become the defacto due date insofar as the CRA's are concerned???  It cannot possibly be the same month as the payment due date because that would make the payment late.  Very confused.


I think you're over complicating this:

 

- Most statement say at the top that the statement is from (for your case) from May 22-June 21

- You must make at least the minimum payment by the due date (July 18 for you) to avoid any late charges and remain in good standing

- If you want a $0 balance to report, then you must pay the statement balance in full by the next statement date, June 21 for you. But be mindful of weekends and holidays, which can delay processing of your payment. For example, if your statement date was Sunday June 25, don't pay it on the 24th or 25th as the payment wouldn't post until Monday June 26 and your payment would not be included in the statement.

- But personaly if I want a $0 balance to report I pay the last statement balance in full by the due date, just to be on safe side and to avoid the hassle of making multiple payments - minimum payment by the due date and then the rest of the balance by the statment date.


Fico 08: 720/721/719 TU/EX/EQ
Message 29 of 30
Super Contributor

Re: When is it best to pay your credit card balance? (Before,after, or doesn't matter?)


Leaf wrote:

Say my cards payment due date is on Friday April 21st, does it matter if I pay off the current balance before my due date, or is it better to pay off the entire balance afterwards for that month, April 22nd onward without incurring the interest yet (ie they'll request a minimum payment of say $35 but I just pay it all off instead). 

Want to understand if doing one way is better for the other in terms of affecting credit. 
The main reason I ask is because, I've had a chase freedom credit card for 5 years now with no offer or auto credit limit increase, and am unsure how the actual system works for counting things like utilization. I've always paid off my current balance 1 or 2 days before the cut off /payment due date, so it would be $0 going into the next month's cycle. Would always making a payment prior to the due date make it look like I don't use my card much, therefore have no headroom for requesting a higher limit? 


Paying as soon as you can, even way before the due date, makes you look just fine to the bank.

 

 

FICO8 EQ 721 TU 772 EX 777 Total revolving credit 500k
Message 30 of 30