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What usage percentage is too much on a credit card per month?

Frequent Contributor

Re: What usage percentage is too much on a credit card per month?

@Saeren wrote:

@WannaBcreditNerd wrote:

@Remedios wrote:

@WannaBcreditNerd wrote:

What usage percentage is too much on a credit card per month?

For example, if I have a 2k limit visa card. Is it ok to charge up to the balance as long as you pay it off every month?

Will that hurt your chances of CL increases in the future with that lender?

Using your card will not "hurt" your chances at CLI, it can help your chances depending on a lender. 


When you hear utilization talk, most are referring to what they allow to report, not the percentage of their CL being used but paid prior to statement date. 


I'd avoid going over the limit (if that was an option) because your profile isn't there quite yet (it will be eventually, though).

I wouldn't let the maxed card report, bring balance down a bit before it reports. While lender who issued the card knows you paid, all your other lenders see is a maxed card. 

With thin file, that's not a good look. 


Just use your cards like you normally would, pay your bill, and don't sweat it too hard. 

Let me see if I am hearing this right. So if I have a 3k credit card limit, and I spend up to $2,999.99 but pay it off completely each month prior to the closing statement; this can help me in the future when I request a CLI?

Generally speaking, yes, assuming that it's real spend at a level they would expect from your reported income and not MS. A number of cards will even let you go past your limit to some degree (AMEX is most famous for this but a number of VISA Signature cards have this capability and my SavorOne WEMC actually reports as a flexible spending credit card on my credit reports) and just require you to pay the excess in full. 

Real spend is always an iffy. Sometimes we need more things in a month then usually. The past months I have spent more than usually because I have been planning for my summer travels and purchased many things ahead of schedule knowing that I could not get them while on the go. However, my income supports the spending no matter what. I pay the accounts to zero, while each month I still save the same amount cash and place them in my savings and checking accounts. Some months I put away more in savings because i am going to use that to remodel a home I will purchase next year. I am not too close to having those options of the cards that you are speaking about, but maybe in 3-5 years those will be a goal. My goals are simple right now, I just need to stay the course so that I can reach my goal of four credit cards with at least 10k spending limits by next year. Once I acheive that I believe 100k would be in the works in a few years. My income is not the highest, but by next year i will be six digits. Thats not too bad, but good be better, but I am still ok where I am now. Very good disposable income. I also do not know what MS means.

Thank you for your imput it is really appreciated.

05/2020 Starting Credit Score: 453 with 15 baddies

6/04/2020 Started Rebuild no credit cards at the time of starting rebuild

7/27/2020 received 3 of 3 secure cards: Total Credit Limit: $1,200

1/24/2021 Fico 8: EQ 633, EX 644, TU 634

1/28/2021 Vantage AMX; 616

4/8/2021 4 CC Total CL $4,200 and 1 ssl 1 hard pull; 3 secured cc 1 unsecured cc; down to 4 baddies: like ooo weee making progresss

5/10/2021 Fico Scores: EQ 663, EX 671, TU 661

12/31/2021 goal: No Baddies Have all unsecured ccs: have a total of 4 with a cl goal of 40k. Each card goal 10k. Only seeking major cards.

Credit Score Goal 720 at some point all smiles no date

Message 11 of 13
Established Contributor

Re: What usage percentage is too much on a credit card per month?

@WannaBcreditNerd wrote:

Thanks for the info, kinda lost on the three statements in 6 weeks though. Also lost on how in 6 weeks your credit score reacted so fast.

I just looked at the statements, I had the card open between 09-May and 24-Jun, so I lied, it was more like 6 weeks and 5 days.  Smiley Tongue


For the duration the card was open, my charges spanned a portion of two statement periods before I closed it; the third and final statement showed my final payment and the issuance of a credit for my security deposit (which they took another several months to finally send to me via a check).  Looking at my Experian FICO 8 (the only one I have from back then) from April 2020 when I applied for the secured card, it was sitting at 620, my May score dropped to 613, I assume because of the HP from CapOne and the fact the new card wasn't yet reporting, the score bumped up to 618 in June (which was the first month the card reported), and then up again to 625 in July.


A few comments on the rationale behind closing the secured card so soon after opening it, taking the "close and open up something else to replace it" hit was a calculated risk, one I'm glad I made.  Given the $1,000 limit was so unworkable for me, I replaced it with a much better secured card with my new bank with a $5,000 limit; the new card took yet another hard pull against my credit, and this again dropped the FICO 8 score, this time to 607.  From there things have steadily improved, in spite of the fact I've applied for four more cards (two denials, two approvals) and opened an SSL, and now that same FICO 8 is sitting at a relatively comfortable 667.  At this point I am "gardening" until at least April 2022; between now and then my Chapter 13 will age off my credit reports, and all of my hard pulls for credit apps will age out to at least one year old.  I'm hoping by then I'll have the lowest of my scores sitting solidly in the mid-700 range.  Smiley Happy

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 12 of 13
Established Contributor

Re: What usage percentage is too much on a credit card per month?

They say not to exceed 30% at statement close, but I loike to stay under 10%. You can stay under this with muliple mid cyvle payments and/or CLI. As long as you stay under those at statement close, it doesn't really matter how much you need to spend in any given month as long as you don't let you balance exceed you limit.

SoFi World Elite MC (TBOM) $7000 SL
REDcard $2500 SL
AmEx Cash Magnet $10k SL, CLI after 36hr to $20k
BB&T $11k SL- impulse application
BB&T $11k SL- AU, not on reports- impulse app (wife's card)
Discover $6300 CL- $1k SL- AU, no longer on reports b/c of error (wife's card)
Citi Double Cash WEMC $2900 SL, $4400 CL- AU- (wife's card)
AmEx Cash Magnet- $3100 SL, $9300 CL (wife's card)
BoA Cash Rewards $11k CL- AU (Dad's card)
BoA Premium Rewards $12.3k CL- AU (Dad's card)
PSECU Founder's Card $30k SL- AU (Dad's card)
AmEx Cash Magnet $12.5k SL- AU (Dad's card)
Wells Fargo Propel AmEx- $2500 SL, $3200 CL (AU, wife's card, not on CR b/c I was temporarily removed as an AU)

All PIF, frequently before statement close

Goals: Buy a house & get approved for an AOD VISA Signature card (or other 3% cashback)
Closed accounts (I had a long period of inactivity): AmEx clear, Citi ThankYou (previously Driver's Edge), Chase Freedom, Cap One, Discover IT, Lowes Charge (really stupid, huge limit), my 1st REDcard, Visa, Children's Place, Kohl's Charge, Angel Card (AU- wife's), Old Navy card
Message 13 of 13
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