I keep hearing that you should only spend up to 20% - 30% of your credit card limit. Furthermore, owning multiple credit cards is not bad as long as you can keep it under the aggregated 20%. But, it is also said that no credit card rating is also terrible and that not using your credit card will lower your score.


What is the lowest percentage of one's credit card line that they should spend, each month, to increase their score? (bonus: without drawbacks?)

  • 1
    IMO this question is too vague. Do you have any CCs now? Are you overspending your limit based on the 20-30% guideline? What are you trying to accomplish? No one on here has the credit reporting crystal ball to accurately determine how your score will be impacted by XYZ behavior change. Additionally, no credit means literally no credit, not cards with a zero balance.
    – quid
    Apr 17 '17 at 21:43
  • Regard this as a "across-the-board" question for all users of Credit Cards.
    – Liam
    Apr 17 '17 at 21:50
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    Then I definitely think this question is way too broad and answers will be opinion based.
    – quid
    Apr 17 '17 at 21:51
  • The guidelines of usage are simple: 0% is too low, 20% is too high. The question is asking for the most minimal of usage that is beneficial to a score (i.e - 1%, 2%) that has no drawbacks. This question is not too broad, nor does it need any additional information, but solely an answer (or a response with a high degree of experience and sources).
    – Liam
    Apr 17 '17 at 21:55
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    Observation: Our utilization rarely exceeds 2%, our scores are over 800. No installment loans. Apr 18 '17 at 2:29

Couple of things to consider.

  1. Building credit with a FICO score is based upon your debt utilization, Payment history, and income/debt ratios. Research FICO scores and it will tell you how they are calculated.
  2. If you have zero credit, don't pay interest to build credit. Make planned expenses when you have the money in the bank to cover purchases. Research other items that also build credit like transaction histories such as with utility companies or wireless phone providers.
  • 1
    This doesn't address the question. Answers to the question, should say things like "Zero! You can use planned expenses to build credit without using any credit line whatsoever." (Not saying that's true, but it seems consistent with the claims in this post.) And answers that say to go read something else for the real answer are frowned upon here.
    – Brythan
    Apr 17 '17 at 22:41
  • @Brythan to your last line (meta question), is that for any source material (such as the links I've posted) or just "Research other items.. with no links"? I thought sources were highly encouraged on this site.
    – Liam
    Apr 18 '17 at 13:22

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