Credit Repair/credit card/score

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Question
If my credit card bill is $600 and I pay it off in two or even three payments, does that lower or affect my credit score compared to paying off the full amount, 600, all at once? I guess the question applies to any amount really.  Thanks

Answer
Hello Lee,

30% of your FICO score is a component that many refer to as "Amounts Owed". Amounts owed can be broken down into two parts, available credit on revolving accounts and proportion of loan amounts owed to the original loan amount on installment loans.

Since we're talking about credit cards, let's focus on revolving accounts. A credit card is a revolving loan due to the fact that it doesn't have a fixed term or a fixed monthly payment.

The amount of revolving debt you owe (Balance) in correlation to the amount of debt you can borrow (Limit) is your utilization rate.  For example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000.00 limit and you carry a balance of $600 on it, your utilization rate is 60%.  

Now that we have that out of the way, on to your question!

Depending on your credit limit for that particular account, paying the balance off gradually will hurt your credit score substantially more than paying the balance off in full right away. This is due to the fact that your available credit will be smaller if you pay off the account gradually.

Having said that, please consider that the impact on your credit scores will vary depending on your credit limits. Obviously a $600 balance wont have as much of an impact on your credit scores if your credit limit for that account is $6,000. But, if your credit limit is only $750, the impact will be quite great.

Keep your Credit Card Utilization rates at or below 20% in order to get the most out of your credit scores.

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Michael Abramsky

Expertise

I can answer questions for U.S. consumers that have issues with their credit reports, improving their credit scores, and dealing with debt collectors. I have extensive knowledge of the FCRA, FDCPA, FCBA, HIPAA, as well as the CDIA's Metro-2 and eOscar credit reporting systems. I am not an Attorney and do not offer Legal advise.

Experience

As a Senior Credit Consultant for CreditFirm.net I help clients leverage consumer protection laws and rebuild their credit to improve their credit scores.

Education/Credentials
Loyola University Chicago Villanova University CSSBB

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