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Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?

Established Member

Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?

I'm confused, as I seem to have read differing advice. Which is better: having a zero balance or having a small balance when your statement closes?

Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES
New Contributor

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?

Zero balance is better some balance will send the score down normaly if you carry more then 16% on the individual card.

 

Citi Bank X2/ 29k-USAA Amex/Mastercard 24k-PP Mastercard 20k_
WMDiscover 20k-PenFed X2/15k
Current Fico/EQ-765
Garden Time Day- 10
Remaining Days-170
Message 2 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?


danielodonoll wrote:

Zero balance is better some balance will send the score down normaly if you carry more then 16% on the individual card.

 


The standard advice is:

 

1 card reporting some balance (1-9% is commonly quoted)

All other cards 0 balance

 

SO that's might be why you saw what appears to be conflicting advice, both are true!  0 on all but one card, but a balance on the other  (and PIF before the due date)

Message 3 of 12
Blogger

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?


bs6054 wrote:

danielodonoll wrote:

Zero balance is better some balance will send the score down normaly if you carry more then 16% on the individual card.

 


The standard advice is:

 

1 card reporting some balance (1-9% is commonly quoted)

All other cards 0 balance

 

SO that's might be why you saw what appears to be conflicting advice, both are true!  0 on all but one card, but a balance on the other  (and PIF before the due date)


+1

 

If you have only one card, keep a small balance on it. If you have more than one, keep a small balance on one and pay in full for the rest.

 

Message 4 of 12
Established Member

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?


bs6054 wrote:

danielodonoll wrote:

Zero balance is better some balance will send the score down normaly if you carry more then 16% on the individual card.

 


The standard advice is:

 

1 card reporting some balance (1-9% is commonly quoted)

All other cards 0 balance

 

SO that's might be why you saw what appears to be conflicting advice, both are true!  0 on all but one card, but a balance on the other  (and PIF before the due date)


Thanks! That's exactly why I was confused.

 

Second question: Why is it better to have 1 card with a small balance (and all other cards with a zero balance), than to have all cards with a zero balance?

Message 5 of 12
Blogger

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?


IEM wrote:

bs6054 wrote:

danielodonoll wrote:

Zero balance is better some balance will send the score down normaly if you carry more then 16% on the individual card.

 


The standard advice is:

 

1 card reporting some balance (1-9% is commonly quoted)

All other cards 0 balance

 

SO that's might be why you saw what appears to be conflicting advice, both are true!  0 on all but one card, but a balance on the other  (and PIF before the due date)


Thanks! That's exactly why I was confused.

 

Second question: Why is it better to have 1 card with a small balance (and all other cards with a zero balance), than to have all cards with a zero balance?


Because the latter would suggest that you're not using credit, which is not what you want to demonstrate. Doing the former implies that you're using credit moderately, which is what creditors want to see.

 

Message 6 of 12
New Contributor

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?


bs6054 wrote:

danielodonoll wrote:

Zero balance is better some balance will send the score down normaly if you carry more then 16% on the individual card.

 


The standard advice is:

 

1 card reporting some balance (1-9% is commonly quoted)

All other cards 0 balance

 

SO that's might be why you saw what appears to be conflicting advice, both are true!  0 on all but one card, but a balance on the other  (and PIF before the due date)


 if you carry more then 16% on the individual card will sink the score faster then Titanic!!!!!

Citi Bank X2/ 29k-USAA Amex/Mastercard 24k-PP Mastercard 20k_
WMDiscover 20k-PenFed X2/15k
Current Fico/EQ-765
Garden Time Day- 10
Remaining Days-170
Message 7 of 12
New Contributor

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?


IEM wrote:

I'm confused, as I seem to have read differing advice. Which is better: having a zero balance or having a small balance when your statement closes?


Your post and your thread title are 2 different questions.  You should always pay in full.  However, it might be wise to let a small balance report to the credit agencies on one of your cards, as other people have said.  

 

To do this, pay off almost all your cards in full before their respectove statement cutoff date.  On that last card, you can let the balance report if you want (and if it's not that big) or you can pay part of it prior to the statement cutoff date so it reports a smaller balance.  After that, pay it off in full before the payment due date.

Age: 20 | AAoA: 1.1 Years | TU Fico: 725 | EX Fico: 719 | EQ Fico: 693
Last App: 12/09/2013
Message 8 of 12
Established Member

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?


Commandolam wrote:

IEM wrote:

I'm confused, as I seem to have read differing advice. Which is better: having a zero balance or having a small balance when your statement closes?


Your post and your thread title are 2 different questions.  You should always pay in full.  However, it might be wise to let a small balance report to the credit agencies on one of your cards, as other people have said.  

 

To do this, pay off almost all your cards in full before their respectove statement cutoff date.  On that last card, you can let the balance report if you want (and if it's not that big) or you can pay part of it prior to the statement cutoff date so it reports a smaller balance.  After that, pay it off in full before the payment due date.


Sorry about that - I take your comment to mean that I've been using "PIF" in a more general sense (as in, pay everything down) than its dictionary definition.

 

I tend to rack up big purchases during a billing cycle, and I always pay it off before the due date. However, I assume that if I were to let that (big) balance report, that would be a very bad thing for my credit score, even if as I said I pay it all off before the due date.

Message 9 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: Which Is Better - PIF Or Almost PIF?

I sometimes pay 2 or 3 times a month if I'm using it a lot, and 1 card I pay almost-in-full before the statement date. I've been leaving $10-25, then pay that after the statement date (usually a day or two after) but before the due date. I had 0 utilization a few months ago, so by letting something report (the $10-25) I have 1-3% utilization.

I pay the other cards in full before the statement date.
Message 10 of 12