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Paying the minimum every month..

Regular Contributor

Paying the minimum every month..

Will paying the minimum increase your score or paying over the minimum per month?

And with the credit steps program does it matter?


Or basically it's long as you're paying the bill on time?

Message 1 of 5
Established Contributor

Re: Paying the minimum every month..

You would most likely benefit from paying more than the minimum, since it's going to bring your utilization % down. You'll also be paying less interest. Although, if it's your only card, you might be better off leaving the card with 1-9% utilization, so you don't have zero balances posting across the board.

If you're talking about the Capital One credit steps program, all they care about is that you pay your bill on time (no late payments, no over the limit charges) for 5 months, and they'll give you a minor CLI within the next 1-2 statements. After that, you're stuck waiting indefinitely for a CLI.

EQ 679 FICO (02/24/2012)
TU 721 FICO (03/10/2012)
EX 703 FICO (05/05/2012)

Cards: NFCU cashRewards $14k, NFCU Platinum $14k, USAA Amex $7k, Amazon Visa $3k, Chase Freedom $2.5k, Amex Zync NPSL, Discover More $1k, Amazon Store $1.3k, Walmart Store $700
Message 2 of 5
Established Contributor

Re: Paying the minimum every month..

Just pay on time and you will complete the credit step program..paying more than minimum probably won't affect your status, but lowering your utilization always helps your overall credit score...

Starting Score: TU 686 EX 641 EQ 690
Current Score: TU 779 EX 767 EQ 740
Goal Score: 800 Club

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Message 3 of 5
Moderator Emerita

Re: Paying the minimum every month..

Pay in full every month, before the statement even posts, to optimize your score.


Except let one account report a token amount, like $10, then pay it off.


There is absolutely no reason to pay interest (= pay minimum amount only) in an attempt to improve scores. Doing so increases your reported util and the number of accounts with balances.

* 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 4 of 5
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Paying the minimum every month..

Years ago.......when I was a wee lass.....I called for a CLI on my favorite CC.

I always paid on time, paid the minimum and was below my credit limit; so I thought I was pretty golden.


After I recovered from the shock of being denied (moi???), the very kind CSR spent a few moments educating me on what I was doing wrong. 

1-  I was only paying the minimum  (who knew???)

2-  I was at a high utilization (hey - I was under my CL!!!!????)


Both of these items were considered less than desirable by that creditor - and I think it's safe to say most other creditors as well.  It was an education for me.

PIFing prevents either of these two negatives from affecting your relationship with any of your CC's.  And it saves you from paying interest.  You never need to pay CC interest for a good relationship with a creditor or for a good FICO score.  PIF, baby, PIF!  Smiley Wink

Just puttin' syrup on something, don't make it pancakes.
Message 5 of 5
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