I have a debt to credit ratio of 38% on a credit card with a limit of $1000. I thought I did every thing well: I paid on time, I spent moderately. I understand that %38 is bad. What have I been doing wrong, and how do I fix it?

Also, how bad is 38%? Is it really hurting the credit score?


  • 2
    I would recommend you start accepting answers. This seems to be your most recent thread, and you logged in last an hour ago, so please consider. – f1StudentInUS Oct 21 '11 at 15:44

See the recent discussion How bad would maxing out my credit card once a year affect my score for more details, but the bottom line is for score purposes, there's 1-20% and then 21-40%. By keeping your used credit in the 1-20% range you maximize your score. Why not send a payment right before the bill is cut, i.e. make two payments a month? Depending how long you've had the card, you can call and request an increase.

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    +1 for two payments. I started to pay my CC bill several times at least twice a month (once per paycheck) – MrChrister Sep 13 '11 at 4:51

38% is not bad at all. It's reasonable.

Ways to improve: more credit limit (either by adding more credit cards or by raising the credit limit on the existing cards) and keeping lower balances (paying off more frequently during the month and not letting the balances accumulate).

  • most lenders look negatively on a 15% or greater ratio. 38% may be "neutral" but it won't help improve the score on its own as well. a 10% ratio will improve it – CQM Oct 21 '11 at 19:58

If you are asking about your card utilization, it has memory of only one billing cycle - typically a month.

In effect, a 100% utilization for the last few months can be compensated by a 1 - 9% utilization this month and the next, and so on.

I am not an underwriter, and the knowledge I have is mostly gained from the very people who have posted before me.

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