cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

Member

For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

First, thanks so much for all the contributors (especially Tusc) and the great info on this board. Its really helped answer a lot of questions. . . I'm still a little confused. People say that in order to build a good credit history, I need to "carry a balance" on my CC. My limit is $7500 right now and I don't ever let it get over $750. I pay electronically every time it gets over a few hundred, and right after bog purchases. Am I hurting myself by paying a few times a month because I'm not "carrying a balance?" Do I need to let the debt number climb a little higher and pay less frequently? Does it even matter? If anyone knows the answer to this question, I'd appreciate some help. Thank you! jhigh
Message 1 of 39
38 REPLIES
Highlighted
Moderator Emeritus

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

1-9% of your CL
Message 2 of 39
Moderator Emeritus

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

You do not need to carry a balance to improve your credit.  In fact, if you do, you are hurting yourself because you have to pay finance charges to the bank.  If at all possible, PIF or pay as much as you can afford to.
 
The only time your balance matters is a month or two before you actually apply for credit.  Then you need to find out the date that your CCC reports balances to the CRAs, and then make sure your balance on that date is 1 - 9% (as Tusc said) of your CL.  It doesn't matter at all what your balance or util was for the previous x months.
-----------------
Bartender, bring another round of FICOtinis please!

9.4.2011: TU 805. EQ 815.
Message 3 of 39
Super Contributor

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

And I do it without paying finance charges, as my cards report the balance on the statement to the CRAs, so I can PIF, get the balance reported and pay no nothing extra.
The slide from grace is really more like gliding
And I've found the trick is not to stop the sliding
But to find a graceful way of staying slid
Message 4 of 39
Member

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

I'll just keep doing what I'm doing then and make sure it stays under 9%. Once again, thank you so much for the help!
Message 5 of 39
Established Contributor

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

note that companys most of the only update balances when they generate a statement., so between statements it's no big deal, on my PIF card I'm using 16% but after payment this month will be down to 7% leaving me 2% I can use the rest of the month and still stay under 10%
 
 


Message Edited by rbbyrbsn on 07-13-2007 01:23 PM
People say "Only apply for credit you NEED"

I say "apply for credit you have PRATICAL use of"

I don't have AMEX card because I don't want a card that suffers from PMS
Message 6 of 39
New Visitor

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

"You do not need to carry a balance to improve your credit. In fact, if you do, you are hurting yourself because you have to pay finance charges to the bank. If at all possible, PIF or pay as much as you can afford to." masdeocho is only half right. Yes, you are paying finance charges to the bank...that is the down side. It is a win/lose situation really. And YES you need to carry a balance to improve your score. Primary example... I've kept track of my credit scores for the past few years. I had a balance of around $13,000 at one time on a combination of 2 cards. I paid them all of. So, I had a total of over $30,000 in available credit. Everytime I charged, I would pay it off in full at the end of the month. So, you would think my score would go up, right? wrong... Before I paid off the $13,000, My scores through all three lenders were 747, 780, and 757. Now? After paying the balances off, they became 685, 754, and 747. Now...check this out...I started taking out student loans, making the payments on my credit card. My balance is now around 8000 on my credit. Only one of my scores went up...757, still 757, and STILL 747. So, you need to have a balance...it's like saying you can bake bread. But, how is anyone going to know that if you don't bake the bread and show them? They have to SEE you are responsible with credit and they won't be able to see that if you aren't using it. BUT, you also have to make sure you aren't using TOO much. Someone posted around 1-9%. I would agree with that figure. Hope my experience helps!
Message 7 of 39
Senior Contributor

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

I agree with masdeocho.

Message Edited by ilovepizza on 08-03-2007 11:31 PM
If we never set higher goals we would never get as far.
sol, credit 101, acr, abbreviations, calc
Message 8 of 39
New Visitor

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??

I've heard from many that carrying a balance of 30% or below can still help your balance.  So the previous person who posted 1-9% would work great if you don't want to pay much in interest. 
 
Carrying 0 on a card doesn't do much considering part of how they calculate your score is your history of and making of timely payments.  If you don't owe anything and aren't paying anything, then there's not really a history of payment or your history of payment pretty much stops once you stop paying. 
 
Also as another tip is to keep a low percentage and make a little above the minimum payment due.  If you make $300 or $1 above the minimum payment due they can't tell.  It all gets shown as making a payment higher than the minimum due.
Message 9 of 39
Established Contributor

Re: For best results, how much balance should I carry, when should I pay??



Fido4Fico wrote:
I've heard from many that carrying a balance of 30% or below can still help your balance. So the previous person who posted 1-9% would work great if you don't want to pay much in interest.
Carrying 0 on a card doesn't do much considering part of how they calculate your score is your history of and making of timely payments. If you don't owe anything and aren't paying anything, then there's not really a history of payment or your history of payment pretty much stops once you stop paying.
Also as another tip is to keep a low percentage and make a little above the minimum payment due. If you make $300 or $1 above the minimum payment due they can't tell. It all gets shown as making a payment higher than the minimum due.



actually thats what the CCCs like, They HATE PIF deadbeats Their favorite customers are the one that carry a balance with a load balance of of 30-35% as they feel that a maximum load that they can carry and still meet their obligations
People say "Only apply for credit you NEED"

I say "apply for credit you have PRATICAL use of"

I don't have AMEX card because I don't want a card that suffers from PMS
Message 10 of 39