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optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?

Your FICO® Scores can impact your loan interest rates, terms, approvals and more.
Established Member

optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?

I now have my pathetic 300 limit cap1 qs1 card.  Here's my questions about best way to improve score.

1. Run up-- I read don't run past 38% of your limit. Is that true with such a low limit?

2. Payoff monthly-should I pay to zero, or, leave at 8 or 9%, in this case like $20 to rollover to next statement ?

3. Is it bad to make payments with 3wks to go in cycle?

4. If I pay it off now, will my limit go back up before statement gets printed?

5. Is there a benefit to letting the charges sit there at least until I get the statement, or is it better to quickly pay?

Common sense would say its better to pay asap, but I know common sense is not always reality.




3-23-19 FICO 669 Experian (free from discover)
March 21 2019 632 Fako (Creditwise by transunion), no score on experian

Feb 28 2019 553 Fako (creditwise)after applying to Cap One
Jan 31 2019 605 Fako (Creditwise)score per
Cap One QS $300
Message 1 of 8
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Valued Contributor

Re: optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?

Here’s my take:

1 - spend as much as you want on the card but 3-4 days before the due date, pay it down to $5-6 and don’t use it until the next statement cuts.

2 - see above - you want to leave a small balance to report if this is your only card, as having a zero utilization report to the bureaus incurs a scoring penalty.

3 - not at all. With a $300 limit, any considerable use of the card will require several payments a month. This is fine.

4 - if you mean will the available balance to spend, yes. CapOne has always updated the next day for me, possibly two days if I paid on Saturday but I don’t recall specifically. In any case they do promptly credit your payments and free up available spending.

5 - if you wait for the statement, whatever balance you have will be what is reported. Pay down to a little over $5 and let that report, then pay it off as soon as the statement cuts. This will keep your no-interest grace period in play each month and you’ll never be charged interest.



Amex Gold | Amex BCP | Amex Delta Skymiles Gold | Amex Hilton Honors Ascend | Amex Hilton Honors | Discover IT | Target | VS | Home Depot | Lowes | Firestone | CapOne QuickSilver | Wayfair | Kohl’s

Heir apparent to the AJC Special (finally got a Disco CLI of $300)





Entering the garden 5/27/2019, staying until 2020
Message 2 of 8
Established Member

Re: optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?

Thanks !




3-23-19 FICO 669 Experian (free from discover)
March 21 2019 632 Fako (Creditwise by transunion), no score on experian

Feb 28 2019 553 Fako (creditwise)after applying to Cap One
Jan 31 2019 605 Fako (Creditwise)score per
Cap One QS $300
Message 3 of 8
Established Member

Re: optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?

This raises an interesting question. If I pay off my card several times during the month, does cap1 see that as bad or good?  In theory, I could charge 900 or more to an account that only has a 300 limit if I pay down each week as I use it. If it doesn't affect fico, would it affect cap one's internal credit raing view of me?




3-23-19 FICO 669 Experian (free from discover)
March 21 2019 632 Fako (Creditwise by transunion), no score on experian

Feb 28 2019 553 Fako (creditwise)after applying to Cap One
Jan 31 2019 605 Fako (Creditwise)score per
Cap One QS $300
Message 4 of 8
Established Contributor

Re: optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?


@JDNJ wrote:

This raises an interesting question. If I pay off my card several times during the month, does cap1 see that as bad or good?  In theory, I could charge 900 or more to an account that only has a 300 limit if I pay down each week as I use it. If it doesn't affect fico, would it affect cap one's internal credit raing view of me?


I'm leaning towards Cap1 seeing that as a positive. I had a $1,000 SL on my Secured platinum card, and I was paying multiple times per month. In December Cap1 gave me $300 CLI without me asking. So it seems they liked my pattern of spending and immediately paying .  Now I have this hybrid secured/unsecured credit card. Smiley Happy











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Message 5 of 8
Regular Contributor

Re: optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?

This is a really good question, because it drills down to the specifics and I've been very curious about this as well. The answers you've gotten so far have been very helpful.

 

I have a Green Dot secured card (SL of $200) and I've read so many cautions here about keeping the balance down that I am constantly sending in payments. I don't know if I've ever had a balance above $50. I get antsy if it's above $20! Green Dot is different (because it never graduates and it isn't like Green Dot has any unsecured cards I can apply for) but whatever I'm doing, it hasn't hurt my FICO score. I've gone up 20 points in a less than three months. (Probably due to several factors, but I think the Green Dot's low balance helped.)

FICO8: Nov 20, 2018:
FICO8: June 1, 2019:
Goal for December 2019: FICO 640-700
  Walmart Store Card Discover IT Cash Back
Green Dot Secured Visa! Oooooh! Discover It Cash Back

Starting Score: 539
Current Score: 662
Goal Score: 760


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Message 6 of 8
Established Contributor

Re: optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?


@tenaya wrote:

I've gone up 20 points in a less than three months. (Probably due to several factors, but I think the Green Dot's low balance helped.)


 

Sounds like a combination of accounts aging and low utilization. 











Current

Goal Cards

Message 7 of 8
Valued Contributor

Re: optimizing credit score on my small limit card. Should I pay off my card before the statement ?

Short and sweet. Cap1 likes heavy usage and PIF. If it takes a few payments a billing cycle so be it. Dont blame the company. Least you got a unsecured card. Good Luck it will grow in time.



My posts are JMHO. I DO NOT claim to be a FICO expert. Just sharing my experiences from rebuild to recovery after BK DC.
Message 8 of 8