Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure

Posts: 102
Registered: ‎09-24-2007
0 Kudos

Utilization Calculation Used for Scoring

Does anyone know exactly how the utilization is used in the scores?  For instance does it just look at the TOTAL credit limit compared to TOTAL balance or does it look at each card individually?  I'm trying to pay off cards and I'm not sure if it would be more beneficial to take the money and spread out evenly on all cards to get the balances off of the limits or just pay it all towards one card to pay it off and then move on to the next.  My main interest right now is just to improve my score the fastest.  Thanks!
Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,095
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Utilization Calculation Used for Scoring

It looks at both: total utilization of all your revolving credit, and utilization on each individual card. I believe that the advice I've seen says to first get each card under 50% (or 30%, or 10%), and then go after individual cards further. Once you've gotten overall util down, then there are lots of arguments as to whether to knock down the cards with the smallest balances first, so as to reduce the number of cards with balances above 9%, or go after the highest interest card, in order to save wasted interest expense.

But your revolving credit usage is being evaluated both ways: how much of your overall CL you've used up, and how well each card is paid down to the magic 1-9%.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007

Forums posts are not provided or commissioned by FICO. Forums posts have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by FICO. It is not FICO's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

† Advertiser Disclosure: The listings that appear on myFICO are from companies from which myFICO receives compensation, which may impact how and where products appear on myFICO (including, for example, the order in which they appear). myFICO does not review or include all companies or all available products.
‡ Credit cards for FICO Score ranges: The score ranges are guidelines based on internal myFICO analysis of actual applicant approvals, and having a FICO Score in a particular range does not guarantee you will be approved for credit cards recommended in that range. These ranges were not provided by any card issuer.

* For complete information, see the terms and conditions on the credit card issuer’s website. Once you click apply for this card, you will be directed to the issuer’s website where you may review the terms and conditions of the card before applying. While myFICO always strives to present the most accurate information, we show a summary to help you choose a product, not the full legal terms - and before applying you should understand the full terms of products as stated by the issuer itself.

Copyright ©2001-2015 Fair Isaac Corporation. All rights reserved.   | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All FICO® Score products made available on include a FICO® Score 8, along with additional FICO® Score versions. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than the versions you receive from myFICO, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more

FICO, myFICO, Score Watch, The score lenders use, and The Score That Matters are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation. Equifax Credit Report is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. and its affiliated companies. Many factors affect your FICO Score and the interest rates you may receive. Fair Isaac is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Fair Isaac does not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating. FTC's website on credit.