Posted by William Charles on May 11, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on May 11th, 2015 | by William Charles

43

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.

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.



43 Responses to Credit Utilization Reporting Dates For Each Card Issuer

  1. Jan B says:

    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.

    • Yes, just pay off before the end of statement and you’ll be fine. The other interesting one is Chase for me that they rereport if balance is paid in full, I think all card issuers should adopt this model.

  2. lee says:

    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?

    • Your statement balance is whatever shows up when they send you your monthly bill or statement. Does that make sense? This means you need to pay off your credit card before receiving the statement.

      • Jill says:

        This is still not clear because the Fico score on credit Karma shows and vacillates weekly and not when the statement closes???

        • Kunaal says:

          Jill, CreditKarma *checks* the reports from Transunion and Equifax weekly and rescores based on that, but that doesn’t mean that the credit card companies have reported any new information to the CRAs (Transunion and Equifax). These banks will only report on you once a month. So say, if Chase doesn’t report your balance info, Credit Karma will still recheck your report, but your score won’t change; they’d be recalculating your score based on the same info, see? The reason your score might still go up and down each week is probably because *different* cards report at different times of the month.

          Also, it’s worth noting that Credit Karma doesn’t actually give you a FICO score. They use a different scoring model for the info on your credit report, called VantageScore. So it won’t be the same as your “real” credit score.

  3. Joe says:

    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?

  4. brteacher says:

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

  5. CL says:

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

  6. kampung says:

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

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  9. Phong says:

    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?

  10. Tim says:

    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?

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  12. Will Massenburg says:

    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.

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  14. Laurie Kotar says:

    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.

    • JAL says:

      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.

  15. Mark Rex says:

    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

    • Lauren says:

      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.

  16. Denise says:

    thank you!!! very helpful info in the crazy world of FAKO vs FICO scores and credit utilization.

  17. SteveBanker says:

    I’m on my credit card account information every morning. I pay my credit cards several times each month when pending charges go to posted. Sometimes I’ll pay a credit card’s posting *and* pending charges together – this has the advantage of making sure I zero out balances as soon as pending goes to posted. I never use a card five days prior to the statement date so I can make sure zero balances (or credit balances) are reported. It’s a game and it’s a system. Shortest path to an 800+ Vantage3.0 and FICO-8/9 is always pay your bills before the statement date. Always.

  18. arch says:

    Just got off phone with a Penfed CSR, and according to her (after checking with someone) , Penfed reports to the bureau(s) on the second Saturday of each month, which I found odd and asked her to confirm.

  19. Rusty says:

    DP: Changed address on my BofA account ~2 weeks ago. All indications are that this doesn’t/no longer triggers an off-cycle credit utilization update.

  20. Matt says:

    It’s not accurate to say that Discover reports statement balance.

    This past month, my statement closed on 3/4/17, showing a statement balance of around $46. However, the credit report agencies were told by Discover that my balance was $5051.20. I made two large purchases on 3/4/17, which posted to my Discover account on 3/6/17. Those large purchases, then, were reported as part of my balance to the credit reporting agencies, despite not being on my statement.

    Similar experience the previous month. There was a number reported that simply didn’t match my statement balance. I’m not sure what Discover is doing, but they aren’t reporting ‘statement balance.’

    • Matt says:

      Update of sorts.

      I talked to Discover and this is how they put it: “Credit history is reported monthly, on your billing cycle date. So whatever the balance is on your billing cycle date is what is reported.”

      Based on this, I think it’s inaccurate to say that Discover will report statement balance.

    • Matt says:

      So to put a point on what is actually going on, I think for Discover it’s more accurate to say Discover will report your balance on your billing cycle date.

      What happened in my case is that the large purchases on 3/4/17 didn’t show up as ‘posted’ until 3/6/17. However, when you look at the transaction details, the 3/4/17 charges actually posted on 3/4/17, so when Discover reported my balance on 3/6/17, those charges were included on the reported balance.

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  22. Debra says:

    when does credit one report

  23. Matt says:

    Is there any evidence to back up the distinction that Elan reports the balance as of the “last day of the month,” whereas US Bank reports as of the “first day of the month.” I’ve been told that by phone reps that they report on the same schedule, and my personal experience backs this up.

  24. Debra says:

    I paid Amex charge card in full by statement date, they dropped my fico score 14 points! So frustrating!

  25. Debra says:

    It seems to be affecting my cli request on Delta Gold

  26. Daniel says:

    Anyone have an idea on when Alliant posts? With their new 3%/2.5% offering put them in the game, it would be nice to know. Thanks.

  27. Lauren says:

    Chase will report off-cycle if you request via SM.

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