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AZEO & Charge Cards

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AZEO & Charge Cards

Despite reading tons of posts on charge cards, I'm still a little confused about what effect charge cards have on scoring and utilization. And since I'm trying to implement AZEO to see where my max scores are currently at, I'd like to know how to let everything report.

 

I currently have 4 Credit Cards and 1 AMEX Gold charge card. Since I don't plan on applying for anything, I've been letting cards report naturally and then paying in full, but as a result, my scores have fluctuated heavily and dipped down as much as 25-30 points. This is all expected of course, but since three of my accounts have recently hit 1 year of age (as well as all of my auto loan inquiries), I want to see where my scores stand now as I pay off accounts before they report. Last month, all of my cards reported a balance and my score hit a low of 720 (high before that was 745 beginning of September). AMEX was reporting a $2454 balance. Amounts and utilization shown below.

 

10/13/19LimitChargedAvailableUtilization
Discover$2,050.00-$123.00$1,927.006.00%
Citi Costco$11,000.00-$237.00$10,763.002.15%
DCU Visa$10,000.00-$113.00$9,887.001.13%
PayPal MC$8,000.00-$301.00$7,699.003.76%
Total$31,050.00-$774.00$30,276.002.49%

 

As of today, my Discover & DCU accounts have been paid down to $0 and reported and my EX Fico 8 is at 750. During this time, my Discover, DCU CC, TFS Auto loan, and Auto loan inquiries have all aged a year. Current reported balances are below:

 

11/06/19LimitChargedAvailableUtilization
Discover$2,050.00$0.00$2,050.000.00%
Citi Costco$11,000.00-$237.00$10,763.002.15%
DCU Visa$10,000.00$0.00$10,000.000.00%
PayPal MC$8,000.00-$301.00$7,699.003.76%
Total$31,050.00-$538.00$30,512.001.73%

 

On Saturday 11/9, my Citi Costco will report a $0 balance, leaving my PPMC & AMEX reporting balances. Will this count as AZEO? These two accounts will then update on the 15th. What is the ideal reporting values for these two accounts? Is there still a penalty if the 4 CC report $0 while the charge card has a balance? Or should at least 1 CC report a balance? If so, what should the charge card ideally report? Or does that not matter since it doesn't factor in?

 

I realize I'm delving pretty deeply and hopefully I haven't already lost you, but I'm trying to get a full grasp of how this all works, as I'm fascinated by the numbers and want to see how high I can get my scores.



November 2019:

Stats:
11 REPLIES 11
Senior Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards

Long story short. All Zero except One is just that. But the main thing is FICO doesnt like more than 50% of your total cards reporting a balance. As long as a revovlver, non-charge card/s is reporting your fine. Since you have 4 cards or accounts. Keep it at 1 reporting each month less than 8.99%. With my 8 cards I found that 2 reporting and 4% aggregate is my comfort zone for the total credit I have. But as we say everyone is YMMV.





My posts are JMHO. I DO NOT claim to be a FICO expert. Just sharing my experiences from rebuild to recovery after BK DC. My siggy is not to brag at all. Just to show fellow members what can be accomplished when you do it right and play the FICO Credit Game.
Message 2 of 12
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards

Charge card utilization is included in the Experian 98 family of FICO scores. The classic score in this family is used for mortgages, meaning that this score can be very important at times.

 

Charge card utilization is ignored by other FICO scores. But the account will count toward total balances and number of accounts with balances. When applying for something important like a mortgage, charge card balances should be at zero. And when implementing AZEO, your positive balance should be on a major revolver rather than a charge card or a store card.

Message 3 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards


@HeavenOhio wrote:

Charge card utilization is included in the Experian 98 family of FICO scores. The classic score in this family is used for mortgages, meaning that this score can be very important at times.

 

Charge card utilization is ignored by other FICO scores. But the account will count toward total balances and number of accounts with balances. When applying for something important like a mortgage, charge card balances should be at zero. And when implementing AZEO, your positive balance should be on a major revolver rather than a charge card or a store card.


Thank you! That's exactly what I was trying to figure out. All I could find is that it charge cards don't count towards utilization, but not in which ways it DOES count. So on Saturday, I will have 3 CC with $0 balance, 1CC with $301 reporting (~3.76%), and 1 Charge Card with $2,454 reporting, so this will still count as AZEO. I have since paid down my charge card, so when AMEX reports the new balance (between $0 - $200) on the 15th, will this have any additional affect on scores (since the balance is significantly lower)?



November 2019:

Stats:
Message 4 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards


@FireMedic1 wrote:

Long story short. All Zero except One is just that. But the main thing is FICO doesnt like more than 50% of your total cards reporting a balance. As long as a revovlver, non-charge card/s is reporting your fine. Since you have 4 cards or accounts. Keep it at 1 reporting each month less than 8.99%. With my 8 cards I found that 2 reporting and 4% aggregate is my comfort zone for the total credit I have. But as we say everyone is YMMV.


You bring up an interesting point about FICO not liking more than 50% of cards reporting a balance (I'm only recently learning this). Do charge cards factor into that tally? I got a boost from two cards going down to $0, with 2 CC and 1 charge card remaining with a balance. I suspect that with one more card reporting $0 on Saturday, that will give me another small boost (AZEO). But for the sake of science, I'm trying to figure out the optimal balance to report for the final 2 next week, to see if I can squeeze out any more points.



November 2019:

Stats:
Message 5 of 12
Senior Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards


@KLEXH25 wrote:

@FireMedic1 wrote:

Long story short. All Zero except One is just that. But the main thing is FICO doesnt like more than 50% of your total cards reporting a balance. As long as a revovlver, non-charge card/s is reporting your fine. Since you have 4 cards or accounts. Keep it at 1 reporting each month less than 8.99%. With my 8 cards I found that 2 reporting and 4% aggregate is my comfort zone for the total credit I have. But as we say everyone is YMMV.


You bring up an interesting point about FICO not liking more than 50% of cards reporting a balance (I'm only recently learning this). Do charge cards factor into that tally? I got a boost from two cards going down to $0, with 2 CC and 1 charge card remaining with a balance. I suspect that with one more card reporting $0 on Saturday, that will give me another small boost (AZEO). But for the sake of science, I'm trying to figure out the optimal balance to report for the final 2 next week, to see if I can squeeze out any more points.


The difference in a way is charge cards dont really have a credit limit. I may be wrong on all the charge cards AMEX has that I'm not an expert at. I just went with having a revovler do the reporting for your AZEO card basically for best results. Especially the number of cards that report a balance for the best bang for your scores.





My posts are JMHO. I DO NOT claim to be a FICO expert. Just sharing my experiences from rebuild to recovery after BK DC. My siggy is not to brag at all. Just to show fellow members what can be accomplished when you do it right and play the FICO Credit Game.
Message 6 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards


@HeavenOhio wrote:

Charge card utilization is included in the Experian 98 family of FICO scores. The classic score in this family is used for mortgages, meaning that this score can be very important at times.


Yup.  And to elaborate on this - for the FICO98 series of scores (IE: Experian v2, as used for mortgage applications), charge card utilization is calculated using the "High Balance" field as a proxy for Credit Limit.

 

In other words, your highest reported balance is treated as though it was the limit for the charge card - if your current balance is your highest ever... you are at 100% utilization for that card.  So (for EXv2 purposes only), you'd be best advised to let a fairly large balance report at least once, and then keep your balance well under that when applying for mortgages.

EQ8:850 TU8:850 EX8:850
EQ9:850 TU9:850 EX9:850
EQ5:809 TU4:789 EX2:819 - 2019-09-06
Message 7 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards


@iv wrote:

@HeavenOhio wrote:

Charge card utilization is included in the Experian 98 family of FICO scores. The classic score in this family is used for mortgages, meaning that this score can be very important at times.


Yup.  And to elaborate on this - for the FICO98 series of scores (IE: Experian v2, as used for mortgage applications), charge card utilization is calculated using the "High Balance" field as a proxy for Credit Limit.

 

In other words, your highest reported balance is treated as though it was the limit for the charge card - if your current balance is your highest ever... you are at 100% utilization for that card.  So (for EXv2 purposes only), you'd be best advised to let a fairly large balance report at least once, and then keep your balance well under that when applying for mortgages.


Great to know, thanks. So I guess that means for FICO98 purposes, it keeps the memory of that high balance? Even years later? I've only had the card since August and used it heavily to get the SUB, so $2,454 is the highest balance so far.

 

I'm looking back at my spreadsheet and see that EX Fico 2 was 721 before my large AMEX balance reported, and then dropped down to 711. Currently it is sitting at 728 (with that large balance still showing) so I'm curious to see what happens on the 15th when the amount goes down.



November 2019:

Stats:
Message 8 of 12
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards


@KLEXH25 wrote:

Great to know, thanks. So I guess that means for FICO98 purposes, it keeps the memory of that high balance? Even years later? I've only had the card since August and used it heavily to get the SUB, so $2,454 is the highest balance so far.


Yes... except it's not the scoring model, or even the CRA that "remembers".

 

The "High Balance" field is reported monthly by the lender, along with the other data fields, to the CRAs.

 

They are free to report whatever they choose in that field, and FICO98 models will then pull that to use as the proxy for limit.

 

In practice, lenders almost always report that field as the "lifetime high balance" for the account, but different lenders may vary in whether they report the highest-ever statement balance, or the highest balance ever reached (even if it's paid down during the month, prior to the statement).  If you want to be certain to change the field, let the balance actually hit a statement prior to paying it off.

 

I've only ever had a lender reset "High Balance" on a card once - Discover, exactly three years after it was set, they cleared the field, and reset to the then-current statement balance.  However, I've now gone more than three years without a reset since the last high-balance mark... so who knows?  I've never seen any other lender (including Amex) clear/reset that field, even over the course of decades.

 

 

EQ8:850 TU8:850 EX8:850
EQ9:850 TU9:850 EX9:850
EQ5:809 TU4:789 EX2:819 - 2019-09-06
Message 9 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: AZEO & Charge Cards

KLEXH25 You missed a point made by @HeavenOhio. While charge cards do not count for utilization, except EX98, they do count towards number of accounts with a balance. So if you have a balance on the charge card and on a credit card that is NOT AZEO.

You need to have the charge card at zero and a nominal balance on one credit card for the best score.

The utilization metric and the number of accounts with a balance metric are separate and discrete and have separate scoring effects.








(Installment loan reported this month, but AoYA points were NOT reset.)
Scores updated AUG 4, '19.

You can see the score changes 3 months after adding 6 cards, 5 reported.






(Forgive typos, mobile.)(Everything said is Just IMHO.)
Scores updated NOV'19.
Message 10 of 12
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