pb576 wrote:The loans are taken out each semester, but they are through the government. So there is nothing due on them, etc. They don't pull my credit to do these either. As for the Synchrony card, it's about 18 months old (I paid it off completely for the engagement ring, then added to it again for the bands). My mortgage has never changed my score (even before the synchrony card). So I don't think it has to do with offsetting the bad of that card. Should I call the bank that the mortgage is through? Just a little confused.
As for the utilization, I was under the assumption that I should keep that under 30% to increase the score. Is this correct? Or is it 4-5% like you mentioned?
I don't know why the paying down the mortgage, in isolation of other credit events, isn't gradually improving your score.
There is a little disagreement about the ideal utilization ratio. People report anecdotes about their scores changing and FICO will occasionally give comments. The exact algorithms are pretty secret. 30% may have once been okay, but it isn't anymore. Most credit experts agree on that point. A balance of $1 is, in principle, the perfect balance to report because it is more than zero but also tiny. But most people like to use their favorite cards without calendar restrictions so that isn't usually practical. A $1 balance is theoretically better than a 3% balance, but realistically will give the same FICO score (or at least one in the same narrow range). This is pretty widely accepted.
Some people, but not all, think 7% is noticeably different than 3%. I don't know. Some people think 10% is noticeably worse than 3%. That is probably the case, but it's not hugely worse. No one is totally sure.
Once you get above 10%, most people agree that is going to be clearly worse than $1.
30% is definitely going to hurt. Until you get a card with a limit of several thousand dollars, it is really best to pay in full every few days to keep your utilization down and your score high.
You might also read:http://creditcardforum.com/general-credit-card-talk/10511-balance-reporting-1-10-a.html