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0 balance and one card at 9% question

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Regular Contributor

0 balance and one card at 9% question

What I see for optimal scoring utilization wise is that it takes all cards to report a zero balance and one card at 9% or under, does that mean 9% of just that one card or 9% of your overall combined limits of all cards?


Say my overall credit limits of my cards combined are 10,000. If all of my cards are at zero except one which has a 1000 limit should I put no more than 90.00 on that one or can I put 900.00 on it and still be in the optimal scoring range?

Message 1 of 3
Super Contributor

Re: 0 balance and one card at 9% question

First off always aim to make your balances LESS than the indicated breakpoint but not at it.  In theory exactly 9.00% is fine, but in practice it is easy to be a few pennies over that, which will cause your actual percent to be 9.00035% (say) and FICO will round that up to 10%.  You therefore want to make make sure you are at LESS than 9%.


In answer to your question, the 9% figure refers to total utilization.  The three things to shoot for are:


All cards at Zero Except One (AZEO)

The remaining card that reports a positive balance should have an individual utilization of < 29%

Your total utilization should be < 9%.


But an easy practical way to do that is AZEO and one card with a small balance, like $20 or so. 

Message 2 of 3
Regular Contributor

Re: 0 balance and one card at 9% question


I wasn't thinking to put a balance up to exactly 9% but was just wondering for my knowledge of all this. I put very small balances on my cards. I have 10,000 available but my balance right now is 40.00 on one card.

Message 3 of 3
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