cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

Super Contributor

Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

Say you have a credit card and that month for whatever reason your balance on the card is actually negative.  Is it reported as a negative balance or is it simply reported as a $0 balance?  I was thinking that if "accurate information" needs to be reported to the bureaus it would be reported as a negative balance. 

 

Has anyone ever tested this to see if it has any impact on FICO scoring?  I'm just curious. 

 

This month one of my CC's is going to report a negative balance because after I paid in full a few days later I received a refund to my card for an improperly processed transaction which resulted in a negative balance; essentially the account is at -4% utilization.  This should also make my overall utilization roughly -1%, even though I'll be showing a 1% balance on one account.  I normally don't try to overthink utilization too much since it's just a snapshot in time and has no lasting impact, but I thought considering this unique situation that it would be interesting to see what impact there is, if any, on my scores.

Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

I have done this before for quite a bit.  Just a mistake on my part.  But never reported negatively.  Only showing zero balance unless of course, you go to your acct.  Smiley Wink


FICOS: EQ-812 TU-811 EX-818 Goal - 840-850 Across The Board
Total Credit Lines - 506K Gardening....
"I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny" Nelson Mandela
Message 2 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?


BrutalBodyShots wrote:

Say you have a credit card and that month for whatever reason your balance on the card is actually negative.  Is it reported as a negative balance or is it simply reported as a $0 balance?  I was thinking that if "accurate information" needs to be reported to the bureaus it would be reported as a negative balance. 

 

Has anyone ever tested this to see if it has any impact on FICO scoring?  I'm just curious. 

 

This month one of my CC's is going to report a negative balance because after I paid in full a few days later I received a refund to my card for an improperly processed transaction which resulted in a negative balance; essentially the account is at -4% utilization.  This should also make my overall utilization roughly -1%, even though I'll be showing a 1% balance on one account.  I normally don't try to overthink utilization too much since it's just a snapshot in time and has no lasting impact, but I thought considering this unique situation that it would be interesting to see what impact there is, if any, on my scores.


It shows as a zero balance.


FICO8 EQ 746 TU 773 EX 743 Total revolving limits 618800 (508800 reporting)
Message 3 of 13
Established Contributor

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?


BrutalBodyShots wrote:

Say you have a credit card and that month for whatever reason your balance on the card is actually negative.  Is it reported as a negative balance or is it simply reported as a $0 balance?  I was thinking that if "accurate information" needs to be reported to the bureaus it would be reported as a negative balance. 

 

Has anyone ever tested this to see if it has any impact on FICO scoring?  I'm just curious. 

 

This month one of my CC's is going to report a negative balance because after I paid in full a few days later I received a refund to my card for an improperly processed transaction which resulted in a negative balance; essentially the account is at -4% utilization.  This should also make my overall utilization roughly -1%, even though I'll be showing a 1% balance on one account.  I normally don't try to overthink utilization too much since it's just a snapshot in time and has no lasting impact, but I thought considering this unique situation that it would be interesting to see what impact there is, if any, on my scores.


Had this happen just this month I made a double payment on my US Bank card my account showed a credit but the CRA's showed a balance equal to the credit. I lost points due to a dormant card reporting a balance on one and my overall balances having an increase on another.
FICO 8 Scores Eq 821 Ex 820 TU 841, 195K Available CL, 1% Util


Message 4 of 13
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

CRA policy ia clearly stated in their standard credit reporting manual, the "Credit Reporting Resource Guide."

 

Negative balances are reported as $0.

Message 5 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

Always reports as zero as others stated. This has also been the case in my experiences with this.
Message 6 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

Cool, thanks for the info everyone.

 

I guess without having negative balance reported there's no fun data point testing I can do with this Smiley Happy

Message 7 of 13
New Member

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

My Experian score just dropped 17 points because I had a negative balance of $177 on my Capital One card.  Lately I have been prepaying on my credit card so my balance always stays low.  Why did I get dinged on my credit score?  Frustrating!

Message 8 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?


@SpicyMy Experian score just dropped 17 points because I had a negative balance of $177 on my Capital One card.  Lately I have been prepaying on my credit card so my balance always stays low.  Why did I get dinged on my credit score?  Frustrating!

Just FYI, bringing a 2 year old thread back to life usually isn't the best way to get an answer to a question you have.  I only popped back in here because it was actually one of my threads and it caught my eye Smiley Wink  I'd suggest simply starting your own thread if you have a question like the one you posed above.

 

To answer your question, let me start with a question.  Is the credit card you mentioned above your only card?  If not, do your other cards all have $0 reported balances?

 

If you saw a 17 point drop, that's 100% in line with what would be expected if you went from one card with a reported balance (anything greater than $0) to that card reporting a $0 balance, since the FICO algorithm is now seeing "no revoving credit use."  To get those 17 points back, simply allow a small balance to report on that card next month, or any other card if you have one.  The small balance can be as little as $5.

 

The fact that you had a negative balance here does not play a role; as I found out when I was learning 2 years ago when I started this thread any negative balance gets reported to the bureaus as $0.  The points you lost were due to a $0 balance being reported.  The fact that it was actually a negative balance on your account was not a factor.

Message 9 of 13
Established Member

Re: Do negative balances (util) get reported as such or simply "$0"?

I just had a $299 negative balance report while attempting the AZEO method again & gained 8 points from my youngest account passing the year mark & a HP falling off.

The -$299 reported as $0 & only the $20 I let report on another card showed.
Starting Score: 723
Current Score: 756
Goal Score: 760+


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge
Message 10 of 13