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Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

Valued Contributor

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

Just read this in a high acheiver post here -  

 

Staying under 3% overall, and under 10% for any single card can give an 850, even with a single HP (over 6 months, under 12 months).

Hitting 4% overall and staying under 10% for any single card drops to 849.

Hitting 6% overall and breaking 20% on one card drops to 844.

(None of which matters in the least, but it's interesting to see what makes it jump.)

 

----

 

So maybe I have a chance of getting the 1 point that I'm looking for Smiley Happy 

Cap 1 - $23,000 / Lowe’s - $17,000 / Barclay Rewards - $16,400. / Capital 1 - $15,000 / Walmart - $15,000
Cap 1 - $12,000 / PenFed - $10,000 / Penney - $10,000 / Barclay Apple Rewards - $4000 / Merrick - $2500


EQ - 740 / TU - 748 / EX - 748
Message 11 of 28
Contributor

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%


masscredit wrote:

Revelate wrote: Anecdotally on FICO '04 and '98 and presumably '08 too, there's been small differences to the tune of a handful of points and everyone has a sweet spot.  You'll have to play with it and track your scores over time... bearing in mind as your file changes (derogs coming off, or AAOA changes, or god only knows what else) that sweet spot might change over time.

 

The $.01-9% rule though seems to hold as close to optimal, a few points this or that way doesn't matter to the majority of consumers unless you're marginal on a tier boundary for a mortgage generally.


I recieved a Score Watch alert this afternoon. My EX score went from 696 to 699. Along with that alert was one that said my Barclay's balance went from $1656. to $779. Utilization went from 07% to 03%. I didn't expect any change with the lower balance. Maybe because it was a 52% decrease from my previous balance. Or because there is a high pressure system in the area that is ushering in warmer weather. I don't know. I may bring my utilization down to the 1-2% range to see if that does anything. 

 

 

I think I've maxed out my score for my current profile for now.  I'm not looking for a mortgage in the near future but I just want one more point to get me to 700. Not that is really matters but it just makes me feel better :smileyhappy:   Next step after that will be 720. I think I'll just have to let time help get me to that goal. 

 


1 point from 700 would drive me nuts! I was at 697 and I just wanted 3 points to break that barrier. I ended up going down to 693 for going from 0% UTI to 16% UTI and then when the score watch update went through I went to 730.

My Fico EQ: 749
My Fico TU: 754
My Fico EX: 753

Goal: 800
Message 12 of 28
Frequent Contributor

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

Everyone's mileage and circumstances are different.  Personally, my highest scores have been with <1% utility. 

 

You hear so many people parrotting something they heard once and they keep repeating it like it was gospel or something.  You know what I mean -- "keep your utility between 1% and 9%" and they keep repeating this mantra even despite evidence that says otherwise.  Essentially, the scoring models use a sliding scale and the lower the utilization the better.  30% is better than 50%; 10% is better than 30%, 5% is better than 10%, 1% is better than 5% and for me <1% is better than 1%. I haven't been at 0% in such a long time, I can't tell you what impact that will actually have but intuitively I would think that a long stretch of 0% utility would mean that this person is not using their credit and therefore would score lower.


Starting Score: 732 October 2007; Current Score: EQ 836; TU 806, November 2017; Oldest Reporting EQ Account: 15.8 years; EQ AAoA: 8.0 years; Typical credit utilization 1.8% typical single card utilization 10.6%
Message 13 of 28
Moderator

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%


Roarmeister wrote:

Everyone's mileage and circumstances are different.  Personally, my highest scores have been with <1% utility. 

 

You hear so many people parrotting something they heard once and they keep repeating it like it was gospel or something.  You know what I mean -- "keep your utility between 1% and 9%" and they keep repeating this mantra even despite evidence that says otherwise.  Essentially, the scoring models use a sliding scale and the lower the utilization the better.  30% is better than 50%; 10% is better than 30%, 5% is better than 10%, 1% is better than 5% and for me <1% is better than 1%. I haven't been at 0% in such a long time, I can't tell you what impact that will actually have but intuitively I would think that a long stretch of 0% utility would mean that this person is not using their credit and therefore would score lower.


Things need to be kept simple, and for the vast majority of people suggesting that 1-9% (or as I do, $.01 - 9%) doesn't suck at all as far as advice goes.  

 

Those that take it a bit further always give qualifications similar to that it is "close to optimal."  Anyone who wants to dig into FICO scoring and try to do better than that, is more than welcome to, but it's not like we're suggesting optimal is maxxing out all your tradelines Cat Tongue

 

I may have stumbled onto something where <1% seems to be better for me too (going to have to do some isolation testing via Scorewatch in the coming months) but it does vary per individual.  We've had numerous people recently at all credit stratas testing the 0% theory and all of them have lost points, so it's fair to state that is indeed a negative.

 

ETA: I'm still not enjoying this FICO 8 upgrade to EQ here, but one positive which has come out of it is a lot more people are testing things and sharing data than I've seen in the last few years... and that's a huge win to my thinking.

Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 741, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (1/1/18)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 771, TU 4 750, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (01/01/19)


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge
Message 14 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

Quick update. I dropped my utilization from 3% to 1%. One card reporting went from $779. to $388.  My EQ scores didn't change (04 and 08 versions), TU lost 3 points and Credit Sesame and Credit.com each gained 6 points. Those two are EX FAKOs but they moved. I didn't spend $ to get the real scores but those give me an idea of what's going on. 

 

So next I'll bring it up a little. I'll try 4-5% next to see what that does. 

Cap 1 - $23,000 / Lowe’s - $17,000 / Barclay Rewards - $16,400. / Capital 1 - $15,000 / Walmart - $15,000
Cap 1 - $12,000 / PenFed - $10,000 / Penney - $10,000 / Barclay Apple Rewards - $4000 / Merrick - $2500


EQ - 740 / TU - 748 / EX - 748
Message 15 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

Update for this month. I let a higher balance report on one card and had a small balance report on a second. 3% total utilization. I gained 3 points on my EQ08. EQ04 stayed the same.  Credit Sesame (EX FAKO) list 3 points as did Credit.com (also EX FAKO). TU (viewed on the Walmart site) gined 8 points. That goes along with Credit Karma that gained 7 (TU FAKO).

 

Maybe letting the slightly higher utilization report was responsible for those points?  I'm going to try something different this point. I accidently make an additional payment on the one card that usually reports. Currently I'm set to have a credit balance. I'll use that card for gas before the end of the statement. But... I'll just use it enough to let about $5. report. That will show utilization of .00019%. Lets see what that does. 

 

Cap 1 - $23,000 / Lowe’s - $17,000 / Barclay Rewards - $16,400. / Capital 1 - $15,000 / Walmart - $15,000
Cap 1 - $12,000 / PenFed - $10,000 / Penney - $10,000 / Barclay Apple Rewards - $4000 / Merrick - $2500


EQ - 740 / TU - 748 / EX - 748
Message 16 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

Thanks for the update, masscredit!  

 

As of now, I am at just about 1% Util overall, however I have one revolving account (Care Credit) that is currently at about 12-13% Util.  My credit reports should be updating to showing this account at about 5% in a couple of weeks.  Although my overall Util is already very good, it will be interesting to see if this one account going below 10% will make a difference.  I am thinking it could give me a point or two.  

 

Thanks again for keeping us up to date on what you are experiencing! 

 

Year 2012: All Scores in the 520 range, during a foreclosure, CC Settlement and high UTIL. Very ugly days...
Jan 2018: EX8: 736; EQ8: 736; TU8: 747; EQ04: 734 FICO 9 Scores about 50 points higher
In My Wallet: Discover $63.7K; Cap1 Venture $36.7K; Amex ED $38K; Amex Optima $12.5K; Amex Delta Gold $15K; Cap1 Plat $8.4K; Barclay $7K; Citi TY Pref $13K; US Bank $4K; Dell $5K; Care Credit $6.5K. Total Revolving CL: $209.8K
My UTIL: Less than 1% - Only allow about $10 a month to report, on one account. .
Message 17 of 28
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

I'm not entirely sure how many points I've gained from going 5% util to 1% util using the FICO 08 formula. I do know with my 98 and 04 FICO scores, I gained about 5-6 points.

Message 18 of 28
Established Member

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

It depends on many factors it seems.

 

The # of cards you have.  Then per card UTI and overall credit UTI.  

 

I know I'll gain probably 15-20 points easily once I drop my one card from 55% UTI to 

under 10%.  But I'm paying off the high interest monsters first (that one is only 9% compared

to others that were 24.99, no brainer here).

 

Essentially, I see low to mid 700 scores for myself within 2-3 months, I'm currently 680-690 range.

 

Message 19 of 28
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: Any Difference When UTIL is Below 9%

One card now reporting a $59. balance. That is a utlization of .002%.  No movement in scores with EQ (04 and 08). EX FAKOs didn't do anything and I doubt I'll see a change in TU when Walmarts posts it next week.  I'm going to go back to 3% next month and might let it work up to 6 and 9% in the following two months to see if there is any change.  There are a few tax liens that may be paid off in October so I'll hold off a month if I do that. Don't know if I will gain some points when those go away. 

Cap 1 - $23,000 / Lowe’s - $17,000 / Barclay Rewards - $16,400. / Capital 1 - $15,000 / Walmart - $15,000
Cap 1 - $12,000 / PenFed - $10,000 / Penney - $10,000 / Barclay Apple Rewards - $4000 / Merrick - $2500


EQ - 740 / TU - 748 / EX - 748
Message 20 of 28