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.
  • If you call in to Chase they will also report off cycle

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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JJ Lee
JJ Lee

Anyone here have any experiences with Citi recently? I paid off my balance on the day that my statement cycle was suppose to end. The way it works with Citi is that the new statement cycle would start the next day. Unfortunately for me, the new statement generated showing me with a balance, but no payment due. I called Citi and they told me I don’t have a payment due. The first rep said Citi doesn’t do off cycle reporting. Then he put me on hold and got a supervisor. I didn’t speak to a supervisor, but when he came back on the line, the rep said the supervisor will tell the credit bureau department at Citi to report to the bureaus that the statement was paid. I’m not sure what that really means as he told me if I have further questions, he’ll have to get another supervisor. I’ll apparently get a letter in 7-10 business days. Not sure what it’ll contain or confirm though.

Dave
Dave

Just a quick note about Capital One that is super annoying. Their statements close several days after payment due date. The number of days varies. So if you pay in full on the due date and charges that post between then and the statement date will be reflected. I hate this because it is almost impossible to pay to zero if you use the card for daily use or if you have recurring charges that typically post between due date and statement date.

qofmiwok
qofmiwok

Chase no longer reports when you pay your balance to $0. Just FYI. At least they didn’t for me.

Christoph
Christoph

For Citi at least for the double cash back card i received the following comment about their reporting date.

There is no specific date for the report made to the credit bureaus.

“I confirm that the report will be made on the week after the statement date.”

Ev
Ev

I use Credit Check Total which I believe is basically Experian. When I drill down into my accounts on Credit Check Total, it shows the exact date when the item was last reported. I’m thinking this trend will follow suit monthly. However, I’m noticing that for example, I have 1 item that shows last reported date of the June 29th, which was a month ago yesterday. This seems to allude to the fact that that there is a lag before the website reflects the change in the “last reported” date since it is now July 30th and the “last updated” date has not change. My thought is that the credit card company sent the update over yesterday, but its just not reflecting as of yet. I’m watching to see if/when the “last updated” date actually changes to July 29th.

George
George

DP: I just paid off 2 Chase credit cards, one with a closing date of Jun 25, one with a closing date of Jun 27, on June 27. 3 days later (on Jun 30), I got 2 individual notifications from Mint, each stating my report shows a Chase card was paid off. Viewing my TransUnion report through Chase, I’m seeing $0 balances on both, “as of Jun 27.” That means Chase is still reporting card payoffs immediately, at least to TransUnion.

GenesisLS
GenesisLS

Great info. Thanks! Just a point of clarification, US Bank reports the balance the last day of every month and not the first. I’ve had cards with them for over 5 years and ALWAYS the last day regardless of when each statement date is.

Paul

American Express / AMEX Confirmed: You can request an off-cycle credit report, but only if you call their Credit Bureau Unit. Regular chat/phone customer service can’t do it.

The Credit Bureau Unit can be reached at 1-800-874-2717 and are available Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Eastern Time (ET).

Note: They will only push the off-cycle report through if the Primary Account Holder is on the line. They will not process the request if you are an A.U. or Power of Attorney.

Hope this helps and can be amended to the original post.

Paul

Does anyone have any data points for getting American Express to push through an off-cycle report to the major credit reporting agencies? I tried over the online chat, but they just encouraged me to call their Credit Bureau Unit for more information. They can be reached at 1-800-874-2717 and are available Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Eastern Time (ET). Haven’t given them a call yet, but will tomorrow during business hours.

Paul

Just requested an off-cycle update to Bank of America for a payment I made before my next cycle cut. The first tier rep had to place me on hold, then transferred me to the Credit Department, which offered to generate a fax or mailed-out letter reflecting an updated account balance which can be shown to creditors, however, they will not do off-cycle reports to the CRA’s. They report the statement balance each month. That’s their system. 1-800-518-5932 is the direct phone number to Bank of America’s Credit Department if you have any questions related to credit reporting.