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Valued Member

## Utilization / Math help please

Not sure if I should post this in the Credit Card or Rebuilding forum, but can someone please help me with my current confusion?

My Cards:

\$0/\$500 (secured card which is supposed to be upgraded to regular card this month)

\$0/\$800

\$0/\$1500

\$0/\$5000

\$523/\$1000 -   52% - Statement date is the 4th

\$1340/\$3500 - 38% - Statement date is the 4th

\$1300/\$2000 - 65% - Statement date is the 4th

\$1170/\$4500 - 26%  - Statement date is in 2 days (22nd)

Total overall utilization:  23%

I have \$850 to apply to these now, and another \$350 next friday.  How much should I pay on each to maximize my score the fastest?

I have the option of doing a balance transfer to the card with the \$4,500 limit - no interest for 6 months.  I am debating transferring all of the balances over to the \$4,500 card after the statement date and then throwing all my extra money towards that card.  Not sure it will be able to process before the statements hit on the 4th though.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Also, while I am asking - I am an AU (spouse) on all of the above cards except the \$500 secured card and the \$800 limit card.  Should I be using my cards and letting a small balance report?  Or does it not matter as far as scoring is concerned?

Thank you so much!

Message 1 of 9
8 REPLIES
Valued Member

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

Bumping for the evening crowd

Message 2 of 9
Super Contributor

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

FICO score UTI% on a total basis as well as individual card basis. The major breakpoints as far as scoring seem to be 50% and 30%. Another thing to consider is that you get dinged for carrying balances on half your cards. So what I would do is pay off the smallest balance (\$523), put \$300 against the \$3500 card to get it below 30%, and then put the rest on the \$2000 card to get it below 50%.

Most Recent FICO 8 Scores EX616/TU587/EQ607 01/09/2018 Starting scores 553/485/543 08/25//2017
~~~Credit lines~~~~
SDFCU VISA Secured \$250
Discover Secured \$200
Message 3 of 9
Established Contributor

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

In general, you should pay off whichever balance has the highest interest rate.

In this case, I think your plan of doing a BT to the 0% card is the right choice. Throw the \$1200 at it right away.  You get dinged for having multiple cards reporting balances so, I would focus on 1) trying to have 1 card reporting a balance, and then 2) utilization on that card. BT and then work on getting the balance down.

TU 760 EX 781 EQ 780
Message 4 of 9
Super Contributor

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

tiger_uppercut wrote:

In general, you should pay off whichever balance has the highest interest rate.

In this case, I think your plan of doing a BT to the 0% card is the right choice. Throw the \$1200 at it right away.  You get dinged for having multiple cards reporting balances so, I would focus on 1) trying to have 1 card reporting a balance, and then 2) utilization on that card. BT and then work on getting the balance down.

This would be a good strategy as well, its impossible to say which would be best for immediate scores. It would put the card at 69%, which is on the high side for individual UTI%, but would be countered by only one card having a balance.

Most Recent FICO 8 Scores EX616/TU587/EQ607 01/09/2018 Starting scores 553/485/543 08/25//2017
~~~Credit lines~~~~
SDFCU VISA Secured \$250
Discover Secured \$200
Message 5 of 9
Valued Member

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

You guys are great, thanks!  I've never done a balance transfer before - do you know how long they take?  It is processed the same as a payment?  The statement date is coming up on the 4th so I'm wondering if it will be transferred over by then.

Another question I had was - I am authorized user on all those cards except for the \$500 and \$800 card.  Does it matter that I am not using MY cards, or would my score grow faster if I used my cards?

Thanks again

Message 6 of 9
Moderator Emeritus

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

SandyCheeks wrote:

You guys are great, thanks!  I've never done a balance transfer before - do you know how long they take?  It is processed the same as a payment?  The statement date is coming up on the 4th so I'm wondering if it will be transferred over by then.

Another question I had was - I am authorized user on all those cards except for the \$500 and \$800 card.  Does it matter that I am not using MY cards, or would my score grow faster if I used my cards?

Thanks again

In my experience it depends on the lender.

Using direct deposit Citi has done one in about two days. Discover took almost four days.

Message 7 of 9
Valued Member

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

I'll be transferring my Discover and Capital One balances to Chase.  I'll have 10 business days for it to process, so I'm hoping that is enough cushion. Then I will have one card reporting at hopefully under 50% by that statement date and the rest reporting zero.  My lender requires 12 more points before I can get a preapproval.  I'm just trying to find the fastest way to get there!  I'm so greatful I found this forum and for the advice I've received  - I've improved my score over 100 points in 5 months and I'm in the final stretch to get our first home.

Message 8 of 9
Highlighted
Established Contributor

## Re: Utilization / Math help please

You're definitely on the right path! Utilization is a nice quick hit to impact scores (granted, finding the money to tackle large amounts isn't always quick).

You will realize some nice gains as you get to one card reporting and then chip away at it to reduce utilization. For example, I had my new chase card report a low balance from first statement and lost a few points on TU and EQ. Now that I know my cycles, I'll get it back to one card and my scores will come back up.