I prefer to keep total utilization under 25%, and I am at around 20% now. I thought that, since I don't have a due date until next month, I could pay the bill in pieces, little by little, and decrease overall utilization so that I may keep using credit but can avoid paying the entire bill as one big chunk. Is there any advantage to this or is it just whatever? Say, for example:

YOU OWE: $50. Pay before 30 days.

I pay 10 now and get ten back and lower utilization so I can keep credit and stay within a 25% utilization rate of total credit.

Make sure I pay it all before the due date, but choose to do so in segments, however many.

Is there any positive thing about this in how it may affect credit score?


4 Answers 4


Even if there was a positive benefit to doing this (which there isn't), realize that utilization history is not tracked on a credit report. When your credit is checked, the current utilization is all that matters, so, the rule of thumb of having under 25% utilization only matters in the month when you plan to purchase something that requires running your credit (car, house, open new accounts, etc). If you were at 80% utilization a couple of months ago but now are back at 25%, your current credit will be the same as if you had been at 25% the entire time.


No problem. I've had situations where a card had a credit limit which wasn't high enough to let me use it as I wanted through the month, and, by making partial payments, was able to take better advantage of a rewards offer.

The reason you suggest, solely for utilization purposes - keep in mind 2 things. First, the issuer only reports the balance once per month. As of now (2019) I haven't heard of a card that reported multiple times during a cycle. Of course, if we hear of one such bank... The other thing, until a couple years back, the advice here was based on the card reporting a balance as calculated for the bill cut each month. I went along with that since I had no evidence to the contrary. Then I noticed my score drop. When I reviewed the details (you can use on line services such as Credit Sesame, Credit Karma, etc.) I saw that a card I had, in fact my 'main' card, started reporting at month end, not the bill balance. To be clear, I was in the habit of paying my card a day before the bill was cut. So the reported balance was close to zero. The card billed on the 15th of each month. I found they started reporting the balance on the 30th/31st, i.e. the last day of the calendar month. This prompted me to pay, not just the card statement balance, but to look and pay the charges since that time until the end of the month.

In the end, you seem to be more in the first category, where you have a low card limit. Using it, and making multiple payments is fine, and might prompt the lender to raise your limit. If you are focused only on your score, keep in mind that utilization has no memory, I can use my card as normal, but if I need to maximize my score, go back to pre-paying the card and once the zero utilization is reported, gain back the lost points.

  • "I found they started reporting the balance on the 30th/31st" It's a good thing I pay off my card at EOM!!
    – RonJohn
    Jun 7, 2019 at 11:20

Utilization only matters at the time it's reported. The number that's generally reported is your most recent statement balance. If you have good credit and your statement balance is putting your utilization up to a level you're not comfortable, request a credit line increase from your issuing bank.

The temporary negative impact should be outweighed by the positive effect of lowering your general utilization ratio. Sometimes the bank will issue a line increase based only in its internal information (spending and payment history) with no credit check, though not always.


I pay my CC in segments (on Sunday nights) but for a completely different reason: "mind control" as part of budget control.

Mind control because I could see -- and remember, since it was only a few days ago -- what each charge was for and thus what category it belonged to. That helped train me into following the budget.

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