My Fiance and I realized that we need to start looking for homes and need to be pre-approved for a home loan. My fiance has better credit then I do, but mine is in good standing.

We want to make sure we get the best interest rate. I just purchased an item on my credit card that would show as 64% utilization for the credit card. This purchase was made 3 weeks ago, and we are paying one item in full this week which would bring credit card utilization down to 10%. Do we need to wait a full cycle for that to be represented in our credit pull?

  • Is this in the United States? Did you pay off the large purchase in a single billing cycle, or two? (I mean, did you carry a large balance on a statement before paying?) Is it 64% on the one card, or overall across all cards? – MrChrister May 13 '14 at 20:13
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    Also, I am not in love with my title edit if you can think of a better question. =) – MrChrister May 13 '14 at 20:13
  • @MrChrister I enjoyed your title edit, thoroughly. – Noah May 13 '14 at 20:17
  • If the end of a billing cycle has not intervened between the charge of 64% and your payment that brings the balance down to 10%, then what will likely get reported to the credit agencies is the amount of your next monthly statement, which will be right in line at 10%. If a monthly statement was issued after the 64% charge and before the pay off, then your credit score will be impacted negatively for a while. – Dilip Sarwate May 14 '14 at 3:28


  1. Your credit scores will reflect your payment history and utilization history better than any utilization snapshot.
  2. If the credit card is only in your name (not a joint account), the short term utilization will not affect your fiance's credit score.
  3. When making a joint application for a mortgage, all of your scores are pulled, and your middle score is compared to your wife's middle score, and the lowest of the two is taken into consideration for your mortgage qualification.
  4. If that's your only credit card, it may have a significant effect on your credit score, but if it's one of a few cards that you have available, the higher utilization on that one account can be largely offset by a low overall utilization from combining all of your cards.

If I'm not mistaken, the balance/utilization that is reported on a pulled credit report is whatever was on your last credit card statement.


From my understanding, having a low utilization on your credit card limits helps your credit score so ask your credit card company for a higher limit and pay off your balances as quickly as you can, preferably before you are required to

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