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New Member
scarlett
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-18-2007
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What % should I get my cards down to raise my score

I unfortunately have 9 cards with balances that all have high utilization %.  I am determined to get them slowly paid down and I hope to never end up in this situation again.  I have some funds to apply to the balances today but not enough to pay all of them to 29%.   Should I leave a couple at 48% and make a few 0 and some at 29% or do I leave one or two at 78% and the rest at 29%.  I can't tell if my score will go up with some with 0 balances or if it is OK for all to have some balance just lower?  Thanks for the help! 
Moderator Emeritus
LadyFICO
Posts: 273
Registered: ‎04-13-2007
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Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score

I know you may get different opinions on this, some say pay down the cards with lower limits so you get a sense of accomplishment. Others say pay down the card with the highest fees/interest rates. It is truly your call. Your score will go up as you pay things down especially under 50%, with under 10% being your goal.  You have to have patience though I paid off ten cards to below 10% or 25% util about 3 weeks ago from maxed out and I am still awaiting the results because the creditors and the bureaus are a little slow with reporting. So patience is key. I'll try to keep you posted as to what results you can expect. Others have seen 9-17 point boost for one card. I have no idea what happens when multiple paydowns occur at once. Good Luck!
Moderator Emeritus
Tuscani
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
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Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score

Worry about saving money, not increasing your score! To save money you need to pay off the card with the highest interest cards first.
Valued Member
Erik
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
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Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score

Tuscani is correct. Pay down the highest interest stuff off first. It will save you money and allow you too pay everything off faster. Your score increases will come in time.
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TheNewWorldMan
Posts: 2,374
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
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Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score

[ Edited ]
Anything at 78% is going to hurt your scores...not to mention it's costing you interest to maintain these balances.

Myself, I prefer to have just enough of a balance to have a bill to pay each month. That way my cards show a decent level of activity but low utilization (my two CCs are at 14% and 18% utilization, respectively, which is down from 100% and 52% two months ago--the first being due to CapOne's policy of reporting max balance as the credit limit; the total was $56.).

Remember, part of FICO is paying bills on time, and if you sockdrawer your CCs, you're not getting bills to pay on time. Not to mention I'm hearing more and more anecdotal evidence that having no or very little activity on CCs actually hurts your credit, if only a little. And some card issuers have been known to lower credit limits on unused cards.

Message Edited by TheNewWorldMan on 04-26-2007 01:54 PM
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in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
Moderator Emeritus
Tuscani
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
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Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score



TheNewWorldMan wrote:
Anything at 78% is going to hurt your scores...not to mention it's costing you interest to maintain these balances.

Myself, I prefer to have just enough of a balance to have a bill to pay each month. That way my cards show a decent level of activity but low utilization (my two CCs are at 14% and 18% utilization, respectively, which is down from 100% and 52% two months ago--the first being due to CapOne's policy of reporting max balance as the credit limit; the total was $56.).

Remember, part of FICO is paying bills on time, and if you sockdrawer your CCs, you're not getting bills to pay on time. Not to mention I'm hearing more and more anecdotal evidence that having no or very little activity on CCs actually hurts your credit, if only a little. And some card issuers have been known to lower credit limits on unused cards.

Message Edited by TheNewWorldMan on 04-26-2007 01:54 PM


Not only lower limits, but also close!
Valued Contributor
TheNewWorldMan
Posts: 2,374
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
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Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score


Tuscani wrote:
Not only lower limits, but also close!


Exactly. So keep using those cards...just a little bit. My favorite tactic is to use some monthly recurring charge...for my BofA card, it's my MusicMatch subscription. For the new CC I just got, it's going to be my Vonage bill. Activity every month...but less than 10% utilization, and negligible finance charges.

Beat them at their own game: live by numbers, die by numbers...
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in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
New Member
scarlett
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-18-2007
0

Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score

We are refinancing in a week and are doing a rapid rescore so I need to figure out the best mix to do for a very quick fix.  I can't seem to figure out which is better, having some cards at 29% and one at 78% or all at say 48%. 
Moderator Emeritus
Tuscani
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
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Re: What % should I get my cards down to raise my score



scarlett wrote:
We are refinancing in a week and are doing a rapid rescore so I need to figure out the best mix to do for a very quick fix.  I can't seem to figure out which is better, having some cards at 29% and one at 78% or all at say 48%. 



Its hard to say as individual and overall util is taking in account when calculating a score. Personally, I would rather have my overall util lower than a single card.

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