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Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization

New Member

Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization

Simple question... Does high utilization on one of my revolving card accounts (>70%) hurt my score if my overall utilization for all of my cards is low (<30%)? I can't seem to get a solid answer on this.

Message 1 of 16
15 REPLIES
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization

Great question.  And it has a simple answer: "Yes."

 

Longer answer:

 

There are three different factors related to CC balances:

 

(1) Total or aggregate utilization (which counts all your credit limits together)

 

(2) Individual utilization (which counts each card with its own credit limit separately)

 

(3) Percentage of your open cards showing a positive balance

 

#1 matters the most.  You begin getting a penalty as soon you go over 9.01%.

 

#2 matters less than #1, and the penalty starts at a much higher place.  That may vary according to the scorecard you are in but a lot of people have tried raising their individual lines to 48-49% with no apparent penalty.  Fo some profiles the penalty might not start until even higher.  You mention > 70% and it is safe to say that would risk a significant penalty, with > 90% a much bigger penalty still.

 

#3 Also matters less than #1.  I think people have tried figuring this one out too.  Less than 50% is optimal?  Less than 34%?.  A simple rule is just to create as many $0 balances as you can (leaving one positive) if you have an important need for a great score (e.g. mortgage pre-approval, buying a car, etc.).

 

Bear in mind that even if you have a hit for one card reporting at a high level, the hit will vanish once you start getting that line down.  Personally I have never seen reliable evidence that any (individual) penalty exists below 49%.

 

Hope that helps.

Message 2 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization


1PointAtATime wrote:

Simple question... Does high utilization on one of my revolving card accounts (>70%) hurt my score if my overall utilization for all of my cards is low (<30%)? I can't seem to get a solid answer on this.


Absolutely yes!


FICO8 EQ 776 TU 789 EX 764 Total revolving limits 569900 (484900 reporting)
Message 3 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization


1PointAtATime wrote:

Simple question... Does high utilization on one of my revolving card accounts (>70%) hurt my score if my overall utilization for all of my cards is low (<30%)? I can't seem to get a solid answer on this.


Frequently posters have reported score drops when individual cards report above 70% even though aggregate utilization was maintained under 20%.

 

I typically advise maintaining aggregate utilization under 9% and individual card utilization under 30%. However, some people don't see a score drop on an individual card basis. even near 50% if aggregate UT is held below 9%. 

Fico 8: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 9: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 4 .....:. EQ 809 TU 823 EX 830 EX Fico 98: 842
VS 3.0:...... EQ 835 TU 835 EX 835
Fico 8 BC:. EQ 892 TU 900 EX 900
CBIS: ........EQ LN Auto 940 EQ LN Home 870 TU Auto 902 TU Home 950
Message 4 of 16
Moderator

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization

Just from personal data, I ran a card up higher than 90% and I got a 7 point drop on EQ FICO 8, have to go look to see if I got a good Beacon 5.0 datapoint.  I know that when I maxxed a tradeline and was above 10% but below 30% (13 and 27% respectively aggregate) I lost 14 points each time when I was at a 660 Beacon 5.  Presumably a clean file would take a bigger penalty.

 

I didn't see a breakpoint at 70% but I never really tested it stringently... actually planning to do that once we get to October and Freedom no longer is 5X for restaurants and I get to play with the $200 CL on my itty bitty Discover secured.

Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 741, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (1/1/18)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 771, TU 4 750, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (01/01/19)


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Message 5 of 16
New Member

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization

Thanks for all your input everyone. Much appreciated.

Message 6 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization


Revelate wrote:

Just from personal data, I ran a card up higher than 90% and I got a 7 point drop on EQ FICO 8, have to go look to see if I got a good Beacon 5.0 datapoint.  I know that when I maxxed a tradeline and was above 10% but below 30% (13 and 27% respectively aggregate) I lost 14 points each time when I was at a 660 Beacon 5.  Presumably a clean file would take a bigger penalty.

 

I didn't see a breakpoint at 70% but I never really tested it stringently... actually planning to do that once we get to October and Freedom no longer is 5X for restaurants and I get to play with the $200 CL on my itty bitty Discover secured.


Revelate, if I recall correctly, you previously mentioning having some over 70% card UT without adverse affect. I suspect that may be true for quite a number of profiles

 

As mentioned in a couple older threads, I had a couple "high utilization" statement balance data points for a Best Buy credit card and saw no reduction in Fico 08 score. The specifics were:

1) Balance of $2101 on a $4000 CL card (52.5% card UT) with Ag UT under the recommended 9%

2) Balance of $0 - with Ag UT under 9%

3) Balance of $3011 on a $4000 CL card (75.3% card UT) with Ag UT under the recommended 9%

4) Balance of $0 - with Ag UT under 9%

 

Classic Fico 08 stayed the same (at 850) for all the above consecutive monthly pulls. (from Discover card)

 

However, I have a score buffer with Classic Fico 08 so what I experienced is not necessarily representative. Main point is enough posters have stated seeing score increases/decreases crossing 70% and 50% that they merit inclusion as a broad based generalization. I am not not sure there are single card threshold below 50% - unless you only have one card. Nonetheless, I advise staying under 30% because that is generally recognized as a threshold for "responsible credit management"..

 

Side note:The month my BB card reported a statement balnce of $3011, I reachd a mid cycle balance of $3202. It was/is this higher number that reports as high balance on my credit reports. At one time I thought HB had to be based off statement balances but, I proved myself wrong [at least for my BB card that is managed by CBNA]

Fico 8: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 9: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 4 .....:. EQ 809 TU 823 EX 830 EX Fico 98: 842
VS 3.0:...... EQ 835 TU 835 EX 835
Fico 8 BC:. EQ 892 TU 900 EX 900
CBIS: ........EQ LN Auto 940 EQ LN Home 870 TU Auto 902 TU Home 950
Message 7 of 16
Moderator

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization


Thomas_Thumb wrote:

Revelate wrote:

Just from personal data, I ran a card up higher than 90% and I got a 7 point drop on EQ FICO 8, have to go look to see if I got a good Beacon 5.0 datapoint.  I know that when I maxxed a tradeline and was above 10% but below 30% (13 and 27% respectively aggregate) I lost 14 points each time when I was at a 660 Beacon 5.  Presumably a clean file would take a bigger penalty.

 

I didn't see a breakpoint at 70% but I never really tested it stringently... actually planning to do that once we get to October and Freedom no longer is 5X for restaurants and I get to play with the $200 CL on my itty bitty Discover secured.


Reverate, I recall you have previously mentioning having some over 70% card UT without adverse affect and I suspect that may be true for quite a number of profiles

 

As mentioned in a couple older threads, I had a couple "high utilization" statement balance data points for a Best Buy credit card and saw no reduction in Fico 08 score. The specifics were:

1) Balance of $2101 on a $4000 CL card (52.5% card UT) with Ag UT under the recommended 9%

2) Balance of $0 - with Ag UT under 9%

3) Balance of $3011 on a $4000 CL card (75.3% card UT) with Ag UT under the recommended 9%

4) Balance of $0 - with Ag UT under 9%

 

Classic Fico 08 stayed the same for all the above sconsecutive monthly pulls.(from Discover card)

 

However, I have a score buffer with Classic Fico 08 so what I experienced is not necessarily representative. Main point is enough posters have stated seeing score increases/decreases crossing 70% and 50% that they merit inclusion as a broad based generalization. I am not not sure there are single card threshold below 50% - unless you only have one card. Nonetheless, I advise staying under 30% because that is generally recognized as a threshold for "responsible credit management"..

 

Side note:The month my BB card reported a statement balnce of $3011, I reachd a mid cycle balance of $3202. It was/is this higher number that reports as high balance on my credit reports. At one time I thought HB had to be based off statement balances but, I proved myself wrong [at least for my BB card that is managed by CBNA]


 

Yeah, to be fair there are so many problems with getting good data on this forum.  Most reports aren't anywhere close to as fixed as would be ideal, mine are somewhat better than average since I have a tax lien fixing my bucket to something relatively known and unchanging, I go long periods without applications, and when I do apply I cluster them which minimizes a lot of tradeline aging / inquiry aging type arguments.

 

I tend to think that the FICO calculations are identical inside buckets, but I could well be mistaken on that by making the error of thinking it too simple.  I will try to explicitly nail some individual tradeline metrics on my report though my HELOC may well complicate that depending how it counts unfortunately... even with someone who has a relatively fixed file, and knows a non-trivial amount about the algorithm and how to at least to attempt to get clean data points, there's still a lot of variables in play which may not be well characterized making any rigorous analysis challenging.  Statistically there's going to be variations in the quality of the data, doesn't take long looking at the reports here over the years to see that it's kind of a mess sometimes with what gets posted.

 

Can only work with what we have though, and if you're correct that it is different across profiles, all bets are off unless we have individuals changing profiles which is likely impossible or at least unfeasible in some cases.  

 

Re: side note - I need to go look back but I had one lender do a midcycle high balance and another on statement balance.  I don't really have many datapoints here because I tend to ALWAYS want a new high balance... if I spent it, might as well be proud and own it to show every other lending institution I may make the money Smiley Happy  I *think* most lenders do midcycle balance though from reports here but I could well be off on that assertion.

Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 741, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (1/1/18)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 771, TU 4 750, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (01/01/19)


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Message 8 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization

Very interesting to know that "high balance" reflected on your credit report for an account can in fact be your high balance and not just your highest statement balance.  I did not know that.

Message 9 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: Individual vs Aggragate Revolving Card Utilization

I have to agree with revelate on high uti. Pre refi approval I've decided to move most of my debt on the lowest apr and 0 balance one of my 4 cc. Highest uti cc was mid 80s and agg uti was 48%. My mortgage score and fico 8 actually went up.

Post refi closing was when the chicken came home to roost. Post refi spree netted best rate and sl on first. Second cc netted good sl but not so good apr.Third was decline. And the following day app was also decline. Both letters stated too high debt to limit.

CRA are now reporting those apps. First cc reported and eq went down 7 points, second reported and another 9 points. Eq still above 720 plus.

Last few days been busy paying off the highest uti cc to goal of <50 on that cc. All 4 cc will cut statement this week and will see where the ball bounces. Hope this personal data point help. Sig scores are pre refi scores. Total cl on 4 cc was 81k and now 122k with all 6 cc.

Message 10 of 16