Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure

Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-16-2007
0 Kudos

Utilization - best strategy to pay down multiple cards?

I know that your FICO improves if your credit cards are under 50% utilization and even better if under 30% but can you get an increase if you have cards with a balance over 50% but pay another one down to under 30%? I have a few cards that would take little money to get down to 30% of the balance, but I'm not sure whether I should focus on getting all cards down to under 50% first.
Super Contributor
Posts: 8,198
Registered: ‎03-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Utilization - best strategy to pay down multiple cards?

They look at the total utilzation of all your cards put together, so moving it around does not help much  Smiley Sad
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
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Utilization - best strategy to pay down multiple cards?

Just to clarify--I'm not moving things around, but paying down balances.
Overall utilization may be one of the things they look at, but I know if you have one card maxed you have a big minus, regardless of overall utilization. I just wonder if you have any card over 50% if the FICO formula gives you any credit for other tradelines that are in good shape.
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,071
Registered: ‎05-17-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Utilization - best strategy to pay down multiple cards?

[ Edited ]
I'm not sure about that, but don't spread it around too much. Too many cards with balances does hurt your score too. The simulator showed me having 1 card with a high balance was better than many with smaller balances for same UTL. But then that was for my credit portfolio and may be different from yours. I might test that on my next experiment with credit card debt. I have noticed when I moved around balances (transfers) to lower apr cards my score did not change. I am basing this on my credit files. I don't know it is the same for others.

When ever you carry a high balance, try not to use other cards for little purchases until the total debt is below 30% UTL.

Message Edited by ilovepizza on 06-07-2007 09:52 PM
If we never set higher goals we would never get as far.
sol, credit 101, acr, abbreviations, calc
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Utilization - best strategy to pay down multiple cards?

Sjh is right. One maxed out card is more detrimental to your score than if you evenly distributed that debt across several cards.
Regular Contributor
Posts: 165
Registered: ‎03-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Utilization - best strategy to pay down multiple cards?

If all accounts are on time you maybe able to request a CLI on all of them and pay down more on that 50% one. If you can pay down on your 50% card PLUS get a CLI on all cards it will help your UTIL and you will see a Score Jump. After a certain point tho you may not get CLI's but I did this like 3 times over 6-8 months and got some nice CLIs of like $1500-3000 each time and that helped me. Each senario may yield differnt results but I think you should see a jump as long as all is good standing.

Make sure they are ONLINE or PHONE CL Increases that say they will NOT pull your report. If they do, then forget it and move on to the next.

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.