So lets say I have the following credit cards with the following limits:

  • $1,500
  • $8,500
  • $9,000

If they all sat at 0 usage, and I was to charge one of them at say $3000 and let that sit on 0% APR for 6 months, does that cause credit rating damage?

I don't have a problem using my credit I built up, I was just curious how having multiple lines of credit work together and if having more, means that you don't pass the 10% or so threshold as easy if they all were added up together(I was always under the impression you should never go over 10% on a CC for too long).

I was trying to do some Google Searches on this but I was getting some mixed results.

  • 2
    I feel that these kind of questions do not make sense. Credit rating agencies are not consistent with each other nor are the algorithms static. They may even be non-deterministic. Even if such could be predicted a jump of even 50 points with your likely credit rating is meaningless. (Going from a 750 to 800 means nothing.)
    – Pete B.
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


The way I understand it, utilization is generally calculated as total balance against total available credit. I've also read that a high utilization on a single line can have a negative impact on your score even though it's small against your total available limit.

These rules are not only not consistent across all of the rating agencies they may change over time. Transunion, Equifax and Experian all have their own proprietary algorithms. This is why you receive mixed results.

Your credit score is only relevant when it's pulled. Your score history doesn't matter. If you want to let a balance sit on a 0% card for a few months, it likely won't materially impact your credit score provided you continue paying everything on time.

  • 1
    FWIW, I've had about $8500 sitting on a 0% card for close to a year now, minor amounts on other cards, paid in full every month. Credit rating has gone up a few points during the year.
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 17:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .