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How many CC's should report a balance?

Moderator Emeritus

Re: How many CC's should report a balance?

Thanks Hauling.  We get dinged by TU harder than EQ also.


I always love to hear exactly what patterns people are seeing - so your response is a great help to me.  Is this a fairly decent general guideline?  Even if I keep my overall utilization down, I need to make sure I'm watching how many cards report a balance.  So, I'm shooting for overall low utilization plus a balance on only one card, which seems to keep even TU happy???


Once again - you're shortening my (steep) learning curve!  I think I once owed you ice cream for breakfast or something?  Well, this morning I'm eating squash (yummy!) smileywink: but I've just learned how to better manage the bills I'm paying.  Thanks!


(And I'm looking forward to a time when I can pop my number of cards - and available credit - up - argh!  We've gotten DH a little further along on that).


Many thanks y'all.

Just puttin' syrup on something, don't make it pancakes.
Message 11 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: How many CC's should report a balance?

I had been tracking this on EQ. It is hard for me to get a low number of accounts to report since I have some business accounts that show on personal reports. I have now lost the third business CC that didn't show with Advanta's demise.


I get dinged right at 40%. One report is flagged at exactly 40% with 10 out of 25 accounts showing a balance. I can find two reports where that is the only change and it results in score change from 749 to 734 or 15 points. Interesting since that is more change than I get changing utilization by 5-10%.


I have to believe that "rule" doesn't work with a small number of accounts.

Message 12 of 13
Moderator Emerita

Re: How many CC's should report a balance?

*sudden image of squash ice cream* Smiley Very Happy

I didn't emphasize the role of open installment accounts enough, btw. If someone only has a car loan, I think that they can get away with fewer cards, in terms of the # of accounts with balances issue. Since there's only one account (the loan) that always has a balance, there's only that one to counter-balance with a $0 CC. In contrast, if someone has unconsolidated student loans, with the typical 8 separate loan TL's for 8 semesters of UG college, they're pretty much doomed in this little game.

But again, it's important to keep the big picture in mind. # of accounts with balances isn't typically that big a factor (it's worth about 4 points for me), and it's more important in the long run to only get credit products that truly make sense for you, rather than to please the FICO scoring gods. *snaps rubber band around wrist to remind self of this*

eta: GregB's post appeared after I started typing (I got distracted watching the D-Day ceremony from Normandy), and I see where # of accounts can be as much as 25 points for him. Just goes to show how variable it is! And it's entirely possible that if I suddenly let 9 or 11 CC's report even token balances, my scores would get whomped a lot worse.
Message Edited by haulingthescoreup on 06-06-2009 07:25 AM
* 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 13 of 13