Author Topic: Credit card utilization  (Read 3982 times)

fliphusker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 463
    • View Profile
    • Email
Credit card utilization
« on: December 09, 2016, 01:20:05 PM »
I did not want to post this in the "Worst month yet" thread, as it was just getting totally off track. 

Below is my progression with my FICO over the past 22 months or so.  I bring it up due to the utilization discussion.  I also bring it up here due to people's nature to hate big FICO swings.  I do not buy notes on FOLIO with big FICO swings in recent months.  Personally, I would not touch such a note with my FICO swings.  I also do not worry about a 20 point swing either.  It has been a very long time since I paid a penny of interest on a CC and own my house flat out and have not missed a payment that shows on my credit file.  This is why it would be awesome to know what the root cause of FICO swings is due to.  I speculated on FICO swings sometime back, but it was only speculation. 

A Direct TV sold my "disputed debt" and it showed up on my report before I ever got a letter from the new company.  This is not new to me as it was a 6-year feud.  Once I sent a letter to the company about the "zombie debt" and contacted the 3 bureaus, it was removed.
B I took out 3 CC due to the awesome cash back rewards (Barclays, Citi, and Chase freedom).  I had 15 months no interest so I let balances grow on my Citi.  It hurt my FICO due to card utilization and overall utilization. 
C I took out a Chase Slate card as it had a balance transfer of 0% for 18-months.  So I stuffed it full and my FICO score plummeted even though my overall utilization did not change at all.  The first rise was 22 points and the funny thing is my $25 payment took my card utilization from 90% to 88%. 
D This quick drop was a large remodel on my house where I put a lot of materials on my CC from home improvement places.  Not only did it mess up 2 cards utilization but also my overall.  Most of the utilization issues were taken care of the next month when I paid one card off and brought my Citi to twice normal monthly utilization.  (was still not paying interest on it.)

Rob L

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2028
    • View Profile
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 06:17:58 PM »
Guess FICO is one of those law of large numbers things. Lousy on an individual basis but better in the aggregate.
However, now there's a concern that FICO is possibly being gamed, resulting in problems for all of us.
I laughingly think of the one eyed man that's king in a world that's blind.

fliphusker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 463
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 07:09:51 PM »
Can you define gamed though?

Rob L

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2028
    • View Profile
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2016, 11:42:14 AM »
I was thinking of some of the posts made by nonattender in the "Worst Month Ever" thread on 08 Oct that made sense to me.
http://forum.lendacademy.com/index.php/topic,3551.195.html

nonattender

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 713
  • I am not here.
    • View Profile
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2016, 04:41:45 PM »
B I took out 3 CC due to the awesome cash back rewards (Barclays, Citi, and Chase freedom).  I had 15 months no interest so I let balances grow on my Citi.  It hurt my FICO due to card utilization and overall utilization. 
C I took out a Chase Slate card as it had a balance transfer of 0% for 18-months.  So I stuffed it full and my FICO score plummeted even though my overall utilization did not change at all.

In B, you run up a bunch of CC debt.  In C, you do a balxfer to a new CC resulting in FICO murdering your score (even though contrary to what you stated, if that was a new card, your utilization actually went DOWN as your total credit limit increased w/the new balxfer card).

Hypothesis:  FICO was smart about detecting a cc-to-cc balance xfer and smacked you appropriately for digging deeper into debt.

Want to be one of my guinea pigs?  Go sneak all that CC debt into an installment line and let us know if your fico jumps ~100 pts.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

Lovinglifestyle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 898
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016, 05:45:44 PM »
My FICO score commented on Discover says I need an installment loan on my record to get a higher score. 

It stayed the same all year at 783 except for April and Oct when it jumped to 812 and then went back to 783.
Don't know why.  Could it be because I put more or fewer items on Discover in April or Oct.?  It's a mystery to me.   

Meanwhile, Credit Karma says I need to open another card (which they get paid for if I do), and had me at 819 and 820 on Dec. 10.  I never carry a balance on any card and only use Discover for cash rebates once in a while, paying balances as soon as the charge shows up, which is nearly always before a billing is posted.

The only reason I wouldn't mind a higher score is because I hear insurance companies and some others charge customers less when they have higher scores.  I have no experience with this happening to my knowledge, especially since it seems to be a secret.

nonattender

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 713
  • I am not here.
    • View Profile
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2016, 06:00:46 PM »
The only reason I wouldn't mind a higher score is because I hear insurance companies and some others charge customers less when they have higher scores.  I have no experience with this happening to my knowledge, especially since it seems to be a secret.

Insurance have their own score models, but they closely mirror and use much of same data as a fico model.  If your FICO (fico 08, not vantage or whatever) is > 760, you're probably already effectively in the top risk tier - much the same way it works with mortgages...

I do make it a point, whenever doing any insurance changes, to always mention that my credit score is high - and set the expectation, beforehand, that I am low-risk, happy to pay 6mo or 12mo upfront, and that I am very much "shopping" and free to walk at any point.

ETA:  You'll note that that means that I don't do insurance shopping online and still use human agents, when possible.  Better deals - at least so far - and more ability to negotiate down.  The online joints charge millennials more because they can't talk on the phone! :)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 06:22:46 PM by nonattender »
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

fliphusker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 463
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2016, 09:03:45 PM »
The transfer was around 1k bumping my available credit from 18k to 19k.  While correct that my overall percent went down, it was quite a small difference and easily made up by the fact that my single card utilization was so high.  I did not take on any new debt.  I had not mentioned before but think someone else in another thread did, utilization has basically 4 stages.  90, 60, 30, and 10%. 
Funny that you mention an installment loan.  I took out an HELOC that first reported in August of only $20k.  Anything I used on my house I did put on my CC and waited until that statement date to pay in full.  That balance has grown over time with around 15k hitting on my Oct. FICO.  As my HELOC balance is 18k, interested to see what effect if any happens in late December.  My bank does not report to TU and might only report to EQ.  No clue if it is reported to EX, which has not changed much in past 2 months.  (according to my Chase FICO.)
Locinglifestyle-I read a long time ago that having no balance on your CC is not necessarily a good thing.  Here is an article about it.
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/does-card-inactivity-hurt-credit-score.aspx
As far as insurance goes, agreed they have their own model.  I changed insurance companies when I paid my house off 1.5 years ago while my FICO was around 720 or so.  I have never had a claim and met all their standard questions.  I asked and they told me I was in 98%.  I was blown away by that.  Here are a couple good reads about car insurance.  I assume the same works for home insurance. 
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/car-insurance/credit-scores-affect-auto-insurance-rates/index.htm
https://www.esurance.com/info/car/myth-your-credit-score-doesnt-affect-your-insurance-rate
B I took out 3 CC due to the awesome cash back rewards (Barclays, Citi, and Chase freedom).  I had 15 months no interest so I let balances grow on my Citi.  It hurt my FICO due to card utilization and overall utilization. 
C I took out a Chase Slate card as it had a balance transfer of 0% for 18-months.  So I stuffed it full and my FICO score plummeted even though my overall utilization did not change at all.

In B, you run up a bunch of CC debt.  In C, you do a balxfer to a new CC resulting in FICO murdering your score (even though contrary to what you stated, if that was a new card, your utilization actually went DOWN as your total credit limit increased w/the new balxfer card).

Hypothesis:  FICO was smart about detecting a cc-to-cc balance xfer and smacked you appropriately for digging deeper into debt.

Want to be one of my guinea pigs?  Go sneak all that CC debt into an installment line and let us know if your fico jumps ~100 pts.

jesscageorger

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Credit card utilization
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 12:11:51 AM »
Take out an equity loan and pay them all off. The interest will be lower and you can deduct it on your taxes. This assumes you own your home.

Otherwise, check into balance transfers to lower interest cards and start paying more than the minimum.

Too many cards open (with balances or not) will lower your credit score.