Posted by William Charles on May 11, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on May 11th, 2015 | by William Charles

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Credit Utilization Reporting Dates For Each Card Issuer

One of the biggest contributing factor to your FICO score is your credit utilization. This is calculated by looking at your total debt divided by the total credit you have available. For example, if you have only one credit card with a credit limit of $10,000 and you’ve used $5,000 of that limit your credit utilization will be 50%.

Generally speaking you want your credit utilization under 10% to have the best FICO score (with some anecdotal evidence suggesting the optimal rate is between 1-9% depending on other factors and that it’s best to have all but one card with a utilization of 0%).

The problem is that your credit utilization is based upon what each credit card issuer reports to the consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). So if your credit card issuer reports your credit utilization just after you’ve made a big purchase, you might show a high credit utilization even though you always pay in full.

I thought I’d be interesting to see how and when each credit card issuer reports the amount of available credit you’ve used. If a card issuer reports what is shown on the statement closing date, it’s advisable to pay the day or two before the statement closes to ensure your payment goes through in time.

One other thing to keep in mind is that it’ll take a few days for the CRAs to start showing this updated information. Equifax & Experian usually take less time than TransUnion to update for whatever reason.

American Express

  • American Express will report your statement balance. Although occasionally they will report the balance one or two days earlier according to both KennyBSAT & Freequent Flyer.

Bank of America

  • Bank of America will report your statement balance.
  • It might be possible to get Bank of America to report additional times off cycle by changing any of your contact information (you don’t actually need to update your information, just saving the information might trigger this). Please share your experiences using this tip in the comments.

Barclaycard

  • Barclaycard will report your statement balance

Capital One

  • Capital One will report your statement balance

Chase

  • Chase will report your statement balance.
  • They’ll also do an additional report whenever the amount you have owing is paid in full.

For example, if your statement generates on the 18th and you have $5,000 owing on a $10,000 credit limit your utilization will show as 50%. If you then pay your bill in full on the 20th they will update the CRAs and report the $0 owing.

Citi

  • Citi will report your statement balance.
  • It’s possible to ask Citi to report off cycle, but you need to speak to a supervisor to do so.

Discover

  • Discover will report your statement balance
  • It’s possible to ask Discover to report off cycle as well by contacting them directly

ELAN

These guys issue a lot of credit cards for credit unions.

  • Will report the balance as of the last day of the month

JCB

  • Don’t report your statement balance, it’s somewhere mid month but we’re not exactly sure when.

NFCU

  • Will report your statement balance

PenFed

US Bank

  • Will report your balance as of the 1st of the month.

Wells Fargo

  • Will report your statement balance

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this helps some of you in reducing your credit utilization and improving your FICO score. If you have experiences that are different than above, please let me know in the comments. Additionally if you have experience with card issuers not listed, please also let me know. If I missed any tricks, also include them below.

Tomorrow we will look at which credit card issuers let you change your statement closing date.



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Hi, there, thanks for all the info and updates. Hard work appreciated. 🙂

Of the above list, only one (US Bank) showed a deviation from regular balance cycling dates (plus ELAN, of whom I am unfamiliar). I have studiously focused Cap One and DS balances to be paid off or down by end of the (calendar, not statement) month. Is this wasted effort? I don’t have US Bank anyway.

Appreciate any update/input. Thanks.

I am new to this credit utilization thing. I spend $2000 on capitol one credit card, and paid off like 2 weeks ago. But my credit history still shows credit balance of $2000 on Credit karma and credit.com… making my utilization really high as the credit limit is $2500.

So what does “will report your statement balance” mean?

This is a great resource William and first of it’s kind as far as I can remember. Can you add this to one of the main links so it doesn’t get lost as a post?

I just learned about the US Bank weirdness the hard way. I wish you had made this post two weeks earlier. 🙂

Discover reported the calendar month end balance even though my statement didn’t close yet. My statement balance was zero.

Great info and just what i’ve been looking for. Nice to finally have it all consolidated in 1 place. Thank you.

[…] it’s no certainty that lenders will actually look at it. Pay off all your cards before the cards reporting date to avoid this […]

[…] Credit Utilization Reporting Dates For Each Card Issuer (Doctor Of Credit). The outlier for us is US Bank reports first of the month. […]

Is this post basically implying that its’ best to apply for a card after you zero out your statement balances (or at least a lower number)? For example, I spent around 10k of my 20k credit line. I paid them all off already. However my statement balance for the month reads $2k etc. Should I wait until next month when they all say $0 or at least a lower number?

I got a new $500 secured card/acct from my credit union on 1/8/16, didn’t receive the card in mail until after the statement date of 1/16. Made my first charge of $150 (30%) on 1/21, new due date was 2/15. I planned to make my first payment in full on 2/5, along with an installment loan payment also due. I was shocked to see that Creditkarma had changed (up 66 points!!!) on 2/3. I’m like how/why do they know about my new accts already? right? Called my Credit Union and was told they report on the first of the month. So the game begins! I can charge from 16th-29/30th and pay off 30th/31st, then resume charging 3rd or 4th then pay off again by 15th? Does this sound accurate? Will this maximize my scoring potential by keeping utilization under 30% and paying in full prior to both report date and due date?

Because credit unions report differently then Credit cards

[…] you may want to pay them down before the reporting date to help keep your credit score high, see Credit Utilization Reporting Dates For Each Card Issuer for exact dates when card issuers report your balance.) A business card won’t always get […]

Will Massenburg
Will Massenburg

Just paid my Chase Sapphire Preferred bill in full.. AFTER the statement closed, but 2+ weeks before the bill is due. Will check my credit score on a few free websites to see if it goes up any in the next week or so.

[…] Credit utilization is reported by banks, usually based on your statement balance.  In other words, if you pay off your balance before the statement is finalized, they’ll report a low utilization (which is good).  But some banks report utilization on specific dates. […]

i have a Bank of America credit card. In this post Is “the statement date” the same thing as the “closing date.” I have a payment due date of 8/11/2016. Then I have something that says “closing date” 8/14/2016. and under all things said above, am I correct in believing that they report my new balance to the credit scoring companies on the 15th? Or is it the 14th? Thank you in advance for any help.

I have B of A too and I believe you are correct. Your balance on the closing date will be on your next statement so that’s most likely what they’ll report. Someone on another site has a good point though, they said the report thousands of balances every day so it’s unlikely if you can pin point an exact day so it’s most likely the closing date or the day after. So paying the day before the closing date would probably be your best bet.

Exactly what account information what I have to change to get Bank of America to update my accounts? I recently paid down about 5K what is reported to be a 10 K limit. Recently I got roughly 11 K credit limit increase. Plus I just open to more Bank of America credit card with a 9K limit each. So this will really help my utilization out a lot but I got the credit limit increase is right after they were reported. I really want to request a credit limit increase on my Chase freedom card but I know I will have better chance and higher increase with the higher limits reporting and lower utilization.

Second question kind of off-topic. I understand that utilization is roughly 35% of your FICO score depending on the model being used. Assuming all cards have a $10,000 limit. Assuming overall utilization 50%. 1) two cards and which one is maxed out ( 1@100% 1@0% ) 2) two cards and they are each get 50% 3) to card which one is that 75% and the other 25%. basically how much of a factor does individual card utilization effect your score and compare to overall you was overall utilization

On manual review individual card utilization matters a lot as well as overall utilization. When we applied for our mortgage we had a few almost-maxed-out cards (had paid taxes with two long-term 0% APR cards) and almost no utilization on our other cards (always paid off before statement close). The broker told us we would need to pay down those cards at least under 75%, preferably under 50%, for us to be eligible for the best mortgage APR.

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