Over-utilizing credit card costing my credit

Over-utilizing credit card costing my credit
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#1

I have 10 credit cards that are paid off.
I have one card nearly maxed out (at 0% for the next 9 months).
I understand I should be at 30% of the credit limit.

My question is: Should I transfer the balance NOW and distribute the debt across various cards to be below the 30% credit limit (which would cost a few hundred dollars in balance transfer fees) OR do I stick with the single card until my 0% runs out in 9 months and THEN do a few balance transfers to distribute the debt?

Is there any benefit to spreading out the debt NOW and decreasing my credit utilization on 3 cards? I’d like to improve my credit rating in 12 months.


#2

Hi and welcome. How much of the debt could you get paid off in the next 9 months?


#3

Thank you!

My Credit Limit is 20k
Current Balance is 18.5k
Projected Balance in 9 months: 9k


#5

That’s great! You’ll be making a sizable dent in your debt, which is the best way to use a 0% card.

The 30% thing is a guideline. The less you use of your available credit, the better, but nothing magic happens at 29% vs. 31%.

If you needed to improve your scores quickly for something like a mortgage, then it might be worth spreading your balance around (and incurring those costs and losing out on the 0% rate). If that’s not the case, though, and you just want better numbers over time, then keep doing what you’re doing.


#6

I thought that credit utilization is calculated based on the credit lines of all cards. For example if over the 10 cards the poster has the credit line is $100,000 and there is a balance of $18,500 on one card, wouldn’t that put the CU number at 18.5%? If so, why spread the balance around?

Please explain Iweston.


#7

Credit scoring formulas take both into account, @wleach313:


#8

Honestly, one may be overlooking something here.

I don’t relish the idea of bearing bad news but I notice that BT offers are not staying at 0% these days. Now, I know I don’t know everyone’s offers but I think banks and such are relishing the idea of the economic upswing (for many, not all) and they are glad to go back to offering “loans”, using credit card products at higher teaser rates with that inevitable hope that at the end of the term, consumers will pay the “regular” rates again. My point: do you even know if at the end of 9 months, there will be an attractive BT offer available to you? And, BTW, are the other cards you have presently considering using in this distribution plan, offering you good BT rates, ie, 0%?

I think you have a really good question. Though there may be confidence that one can pay down the current balance to $9K, I cannot agree that there will be another 0% teaser rate waiting. The downside is those annoying BT fees used to start distributing the current balance around to get the score down. And, I dislike being a downer but would you happen to have a few funds laying around in an emergency fund? No lecture, for sure.

If you’re a numbers kind of person, it might be that sitting down with a pencil and a legal pad might be useful to see the numbers you are trying to work with on paper and see if the motivation is there long term to move that balance around 2-3 cards now, because it will be quite a bit to keep up with for nine months. It’s going to take discipline BUT again the risk is will the 0% offer be “there” in nine months to capture what remains.

Best wishes!