Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback...tomorrow I will change all of my statement dates. I will be sorely disappointed if all I get is 7 measly points, especially being that this has consumed a lot of my time. I wanted to app for the Delta Gold Amex, but if I don't get at least 35pts its a no-go.
I hate this game! I made a payment 5 days before the statement date and ti didn't post in time, now a 60% UTI on one card dropped my score by 15 points.
| CSP (AU) $12,000 | Amex PRG (AU) | United $6,000 | OCCU $12,000 | Ink Bold | GM $3,200 | DCU $7500 | Luthansa $9000 | SPG $6,000 | Citi AA Executive $11,000 | Ink Plus $5,000 | EX 2/7 697 | EQ 10/27 721 | TU 12/15 719 |
One thing to keep in mind if your going to be changing your due dates and are juggling finances to get the most time out of your (ok, their) money. Credit card companies need to give you at least about 30 days between statements. As an example, I recently changed the due date for one of my cards from the 7th to the 3rd. Not a big change but they couldn't have that month go short so that statement time ends up being 7 1/2 weeks long. I did this just after my new statement period started and I didn't have any payment due. So new purchases wouldn't post until a statement that was almost 2 months away.
I know this is hard to believe from what you see on the forum, but MOST of the time, your credit score doesn't matter. Just when you are going to app. That is when it may be worth micro-managing your utilization, remembering that paying early has an opportunity cost, so doing it all the time isn't really that savvy.
And yes, during the periods where you are letting balances report and getting lower scores, you might miss out on potential auto-CLIs, but most CLIs aren't really needed either. The exception is when there is a card you are really using, and are having to pay many times a month because of a low CL, then it might be worth the effort to manage utilization every month in the hope (just hope!) of getting an auto CLI. But might be better to spend as normal for a few months, then do the utilization thing and apply for a CLI.
The effects on your fico score as far as the utilisation component will be immediate. utilisation does not affect your score in a cumulative way. Fico takes a snapshot of your account whenever it generates your score and you will receive the full effect of what your utilisation is at that point in time. It doesn't matter if your utilisation was at 1 percent for the last ten years or if you just paid your cards down last month. As long as your cards have reported then whatever the numbers are at that moment in time when your score is generated, that is where the score comes from.
How long do I need to keep this "game" up in order to maximize my FICO score... a month, 2 months
Your call. I don't bother unless I'm apping. If you are applying then you need to keep it up until your lenders have made their decisions.
How long do I need to keep this "game" up in order to maximize my FICO score... a month, 2 months? Eventually will my credit score just plateau?
As stated earlier, there aren't cumulative gains from maintaining utilization. Once your lowered utilization reports your score won't improve beyond that unless other changes to your credit happen that cause an increase in your score.
The only reason why I ask is because it takes a lot of diligence to remember 5 different dates, etc.
I track 8 (plus due dates for non-credit card bills) with a spreadsheet. Find and use the tools that work for you.
I will be sorely disappointed if all I get is 7 measly points
You'll get a lot more than just 7 from going from 72% to 1%. I didn't check my FICO's but FAKO's went from 706 to 771 going from 59% to 10%, FWIW (not much).
My answer to this question is here (I wrote it a couple hours ago):
I got more than "7 measly points"....I received 38 on EX, 34 on EQ and 47 on TU!!!
I went on a semi-app spree (the results are the last 7 cards in my signature) and the Shopping Cart Trick worked for me.
I'm in the garden until July 2014.