I now have two credit cards: Barclaycard NFL $500 credit line and Open Sky $200 credit line.
My question is should I charge each month on both cards not charging over 29% uutilization and paying both cards down to 5% to let reflect for credit reporting? Or, should I alternate each month and let one card report usage and the other card no charging activity.
Maybe it doesn't matter fico score wise since my file is so thin but I thought I'd ask. Thank you!
1. It matters.
2. Use the cards, pay them down before the statement cuts. Let one report a zero balance, let the other report a balance of 29% or less of the limit. Then pay that one off right away.
3. Check Capital One's prequalifications page. If you're prequalified for a card there, apply for it, and if accepted, ditch the Open Sky card.
FICO scoring wise I believe it would be best to let one of the two cards report a small ($5 - $10) balance as that would be 50% of your cards reporting a balance as opposed to 0% of them (none) or 100% of them (both) reporting balances where either of those two options would result in a scoring hit. Ideally you'll want to scoop up a 3rd card at some point so that you can allow 1 of 3 (33%) to report a balance as the greatest scoring benefit from utilization can be achieved if you let "less than 50% of your cards report balances but greater than 0%" and 33% falls into that range.
For now just get in the habit of using your cards naturally the way you normally would. Use them in place of cash if possible. Pay in full every month on both cards, just let one report a small balance if you are looking to get the most FICO points for what you have (2 cards).
Sounds like you should put in some work to see if you can get that account removed or those lates erased from the account. I'm sure that would help your score a good deal.
So the utilization stragety is "also" based on charging on a card even if that card will be paid down to zero, correct?
I agree that you shouldn't apply for any other cards right now.
You want to show usage on one of your cards. To do that you just want a small balance to report on the card. Even $5-$10 is enough to register usage and give you some points from FICO. The other card, make sure it reports $0. That doesn't mean don't use it. You can use it as much as you want, just pay it off completely and let it report $0 at the end of the cycle.