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Credit Card Balance

New Visitor

Credit Card Balance

Hi all

I was wondering if you pay off your credit card in one big payment or pay monthly which one helps your credit score. I don't pay the minimums I pay more


Message 1 of 5
Established Contributor

Re: Credit Card Balance

Hi, and welcome!


The score does not have a memory. It is calculated from the entries on your credit report. This means it doesn't matter whether you paid in lots of small chunks or one big chunk, what counts are the balances compared to your credit limits.

Message 2 of 5
New Visitor

Re: Credit Card Balance

How about when you pay off your monthly balances?  Like AmEx or other credit cards?  Does it hurt it?


I pay everything I can by credit card because I earn miles, and then pay it off by the end of the month.

Message 3 of 5
Regular Contributor

Re: Credit Card Balance

According to Fico, it hurts your score to have zero utilization...but according to Credit Check Total, it helps my score to have zero balances....go fugure!


I guess it depends on what service you are using.  I have heard from other members that is is best to carry a small balance on one to two cards and rotate your cards every 2-3 months. 

Message 4 of 5
Moderator Emerita

Re: Credit Card Balance

Ignore CreditCheckTotal --they have FAKO scores, and therefore, their advice is also FAKO. Again, these services are great for monitoring your reports, but you have to train yourself to ignore their "credit scores" and the advice that comes along with them. Much of the advice that they offer, if followed, will actually hurt your FICO's.

FICO scores are happiest when every card reports $0 (generally, this means that your statements show $0), except for one card, and that one card should have a minimal amount, i.e., $10-20. Don't forget to pay it off once the balance reports.

In the meantime, you should keep using your other cards to keep the various banks from shutting you down for non-usage. Just use them at least a week before statement date, and then pay them off online several days before the statement date.

And please let me add my usual note that this advice is mainly relevant if you want the optimum tweaking of your scores. But I would add that in this day and age, with other lenders softing your reports frequently and making decisions based on what's reported, I think that there's a lot to be said for having your reports shined up every single month. Ya just never know.

Remember that there are two entities that you are potentially trying to keep happy: the FICO scoring formula and your lenders. They don't necessarily want you to do the same things. You'll read posts saying that they carry balances (= pay interest) to make their lenders happy. Maybe this is true, but my attitude is that my lenders are going to have to be happy with the transaction fees from my CC usage. If they want interest money from me, they're SOL. Smiley Wink
* 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
Message 5 of 5