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Best way to pay down credit cards in order to get the most points

New Member

Best way to pay down credit cards in order to get the most points

Hi! I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to pay down my credit cards to get the best score improvement. For instance if I pay them all off at once will it give me less points than if I pay them down over a period of months? I have two cards with zero balance and three cards that are at a 90 utilization. I can pay those down to zero today but I'm worried that this won't be the best bang for the buck when it comes to my fico score.
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Best way to pay down credit cards in order to get the most points

The general consensus in the forum is that you do not want all of your cards to report zero balances.  You would want to leave less than 8.9% of the credit line as a balance to report on one card, with all other cards reporting zero, for maximum points in the utilization category.  (Known here as AZEO - all zero except one)

 

I hope this helps!

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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Best way to pay down credit cards in order to get the most points


kbab3517 wrote:
Hi! I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to pay down my credit cards to get the best score improvement. For instance if I pay them all off at once will it give me less points than if I pay them down over a period of months? I have two cards with zero balance and three cards that are at a 90 utilization. I can pay those down to zero today but I'm worried that this won't be the best bang for the buck when it comes to my fico score.

There is no scoring advantage whatsoever to strecthing your payoff period over several months.  Pay all cards to zero ASAP and then continue to use at least one card for at least one transaction per month.

 

PS.  With AZEO, there's no need to keep one's individual utilization on that single card at < 8.99%.  It's the total utilization (all cards considered together) that needs to be kept ultralow for optimal scoring.  Individual cards just need to be kept at < 29%.

 

Message 3 of 4
Frequent Contributor

Re: Best way to pay down credit cards in order to get the most points

Yes...CGID is right...AZEO applies to 8.9% of your total credit lines, not individual CL.  My bad. Long day. ☺️😉

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