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What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”

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Valued Contributor

What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”

I’m curious as to what uti percentages are ideal, fair, terrible, etc.  I generally try to keep my individual uti under 9% which obviously keeps overall very low as well. However, my Disco card will report higher on this next statement. All my other cards are still low, sub 9% though. So at what point will lenders panic or consider the card to be way too high? Some people say 40% uti on one card is unacceptable, and some say not until 80 or more.... Individual vs overall? 

 

Thanks!

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12 REPLIES 12
Established Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”

I'm interested as well. Does someone have a chart?
Starting Score: EX 641 TU 631 EQ 669
Current Score: EX 714 TU 718 EQ 713 (EQ9 735)
Goal Scores: 750


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Message 2 of 13
Regular Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”

I don't know the exact numbers, but I always viewed the tiers as under 10% (probably <8.9%), under 30%, under 80%, and 81-100+%. You always want to try to stay under 30%, with being under 10% the best. 








Message 3 of 13
Regular Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”


@pinkandgrey wrote:

80 or more.... Individual vs overall? 


It's both. If you have one card maxed out, but all of the rest at zero, your score will still drop as they see that you aren't using that credit line "correctly" (even if your overall utili is under 10%). Of course, having an overall score above 30% isn't good either. 

 

To be honest, utili isn't that big of a deal unless you are really trying to boost your FICO for a mortgage or high-end CC or something. It's something you can change instantly, unlike missed payments and charge-offs, etc. 








Message 4 of 13
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”

The known thresholds are 8.9%, 28.9%, 48.9%, 68.9%, and 88.9% (maxed). Actually, that's simplifying things a bit. Exactly 9% should be OK, but you'd hate to miscalculate by a penny or two and have 9.0000001% turn into 10% for scoring purposes. Smiley Happy

 

28.9% is considered "reponsible" borrowing, and it generally puts one in the second best scoring tier. If cards that report positive balances are at 28.9% or below, your report will look good.

 

The general wisdom is that overall utilization of 8.9% or below, individual card utilization of 28.9% or below, and a single card reporting a balance will optimize the revolving portion of one's score. Individual card utilization is determined by the card with the highest utilization.

 

Some have reported being dinged at less than 8.9%/28.9%, though, and we haven't really pinpointed why. That's why we recommend AZEO (a single card reporting a tiny positive balance) when one needs every possible point and hasn't done the testing to see how his profile reacts to balances.

Message 5 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”

I believe individual wise - 30-40% is where a card will be considered to have higher UTI. Some lenders may be okay with going all the way to 100% (BT wise), others may not care all the way to 70-80%. It's sorta hard to say.

As far as overall goes - 30% is where you'll start raising some red flags. Anything higher, unless it's a large purchase that you are paying down significantly. One thing to keep in mind, UTI is dynamic, yes it can adversely affect your score but once brought down, the damage is reversed. The issue though to keep in mind is that when UTI becomes stable and does not change. For someone to have a UTI of 50% for one month, then 25% the next month, no lender (hopefully none), will bat an eye. For the same person to have 50% for 6 months straight, will definitely raise some eyebrows and cause some issues.


Scores - All bureaus 750 +/-
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Message 6 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”


@pinkandgrey wrote:

I’m curious as to what uti percentages are ideal, fair, terrible, etc.  I generally try to keep my individual uti under 9% which obviously keeps overall very low as well. However, my Disco card will report higher on this next statement. All my other cards are still low, sub 9% though. So at what point will lenders panic or consider the card to be way too high? Some people say 40% uti on one card is unacceptable, and some say not until 80 or more.... Individual vs overall? 

 

Thanks!


The most important cutoff for individual utilization is 30%, but due to interest and rounding, it's prudent to make sure no account goes over 28%.

 

 


Total revolving limits 639500 (558000 reporting)
Message 7 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”


@pinkandgrey wrote:

I’m curious as to what uti percentages are ideal, fair, terrible, etc.  


There's no real chart or anything that can define utilization in the words you used above, because all lenders can put different weight on that factor.  This is the same way you'll find a certain lender say that an "excellent" FICO score is 740+, another says 770+ and another 800+.  Using this example, it's impossible to define what constitutes an "excellent" credit score, as it's lender-specific. 

 

HO and others above have done a great job quantifying the different utilization breakpoints, so all you really need to know from a FICO scoring perspective is that staying under the first one (8.9%) is ideal, the next (28.9%) isn't ideal but still good, etc.

Message 8 of 13
Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”

When you say individual uti is under 30% you mean one single card? So would it be bad to have a secured card with 200 max limit report 8.9% uti at statement date? Or should I always make single cards hover at 28%?

 

I’m trying to maximize and want to make sure I have all the best practices down. 

Message 9 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: What are the Utilization “Checkpoints?”


@Wizard10 wrote:

When you say individual uti is under 30% you mean one single card? So would it be bad to have a secured card with 200 max limit report 8.9% uti at statement date? Or should I always make single cards hover at 28%?

 

I’m trying to maximize and want to make sure I have all the best practices down. 


It’s a threshold. Keep the statement balance below 28.9% but above $0. 



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Message 10 of 13
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