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Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

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Super Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

Showing an occasional charge on a card to keep it from getting closed down is mostly aimed toward those that have cards in their sock drawer somewhere with no balance on them.  Since you have balances on your cards, you are showing activity on those accounts every month as you're making payments and new balances are being reported.  This activity is more than adequate to keep your accounts alive and you definitely shouldn't worry about trying to make purchases on occasion at this time to show [additional] activity.  Priority #1 is definitely paying those balances down.

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Super Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?


@BrutalBodyShots wrote:

Showing an occasional charge on a card to keep it from getting closed down is mostly aimed toward those that have cards in their sock drawer somewhere with no balance on them.  Since you have balances on your cards, you are showing activity on those accounts every month as you're making payments and new balances are being reported.  This activity is more than adequate to keep your accounts alive and you definitely shouldn't worry about trying to make purchases on occasion at this time to show [additional] activity.  Priority #1 is definitely paying those balances down.


+1


Total revolving limits 644000 (568000 reporting)
FICO 8's EQ 710 TU 733 EX 717



Message 12 of 28
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Regular Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

not to hijack OP's thread but my util went UP towards 40% and 88% on my cards this month and score dropped from 694 > 690 on experian site while discover score card showed it actually went up 10. I was expecting a much bigger drop, but those seem to happen only after i open a new account.

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Super Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

I'm unclear as to what exactly changed with your utilization above.  Are you talking aggregate utilization, the utilization of 2 different cards, or something else?

Message 14 of 28
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Regular Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

util on both cards went up (one one considerably, 30%+), yet score dropped 4 pts or went up 10pts depnding on who you ask.

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Super Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

FICO scores can't go up 10 points from your utilization sharply increasing from a low-mid percentage to a high percentage.

 

 

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New Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

Yep.

Credit score shouldn’t matter at this point.

Just get all of your balances paid down (highest APRs first), and the credit score can be fine-tuned after it works itself out.
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Regular Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

i think i figured out what it is, disco creditscorecard shows only certain time frame, for a month. and it cut off before updated balances.

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Member

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?

To Heaven, Brutal and OP, very important topic and great insightful responses.

 

In my case, all 800's, several inquiries and new accounts (all going to 0 in about 45 days), rest of CRs are clean.  Aggregate utilization usually 2-5% on 200K of total revolving credit card lines.

 

Recently put a few extra charges on our Costco Visa, with one $500 charge recording on the last day of the statement closing period.  That one charge moved utilization on that card to 41%. That resulted in lowering my FICO score 15 points. Had that charge hit on the next statement, no problem. Instead,  $175 was the difference between 39% and 41% utilization, the difference between a score of 802 and 787. 

 

Individual card utilization can matter. A lot.  Even for one month. It will go back up next month, and in 45 days, I'll have all 3 scores at 825 or better.  

 

The important message is you need to manage both aggregate utilization (what you owe on all cards divided by your overall limit) AND your individual card utilization (what you owe on each card divided by the card's credit limit).  

 

Per the wise advice on this thread, don't let yourself get to a point where your aggregate utilization is high and your individual utilization is high.  If you are at that point, understand, analyze and prioritize payments on the cards with the highest utilization. Refer to Heaven's great post (re 8.9%, 28.9%, 48.9%, 68.9%, and 88.9% utilization rates). Once you get your highest utilized card paid down, go after the next highest card, and so on.  The biggest challenge is keeping both utilization rates low.  That's key to getting - and keeping - a high FICO score.

 

OP - good luck.

 

Heaven and Brutal, thanks for sharing all of your very useful advice.

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Super Contributor

Re: Utilization Percentage on one card, vs. Overall ?


@MWGardener

Recently put a few extra charges on our Costco Visa, with one $500 charge recording on the last day of the statement closing period.  That one charge moved utilization on that card to 41%. That resulted in lowering my FICO score 15 points. Had that charge hit on the next statement, no problem. Instead,  $175 was the difference between 39% and 41% utilization, the difference between a score of 802 and 787.


Something sounds off here.  Unless you went over 48.9% utilization on that individual card, your score shouldn't have dropped... assuming aggregate utilization didn't cross a threshold.  Some people report a small ding when crossing the 28.9% threshold on a single card, but if so it's never 15 points.  It sounds to me like your before/after utilization on the individual card was between 28.9% and 48.9%, so there should have been no score change as a result of that profile change.  I'm thinking that your 15 point drop could have come from something else.

 

That all being said, it is worth noting that a score drop of 15 points when you have an 802 score (dropping to 787) is essentially a non-factor when it comes to FICO scoring.  Once you get to 760 or so, everything above that is gravy, as you can obtain the best products and the best rates.  If you're talking lower scores that are borderline between poor/fair or fair/good, 15 points at that level can often be important.  At 800+, definitely not so much. 

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