Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.
Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.
Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.
Topics addressed on July 21, 2010:
Paying credit card bills early doesn’t hurt scores
Does paying credit card bills ahead of time hurt your credit scores?
Paying your bills early doesn’t hurt credit scores, but probably won’t help them much, either
The key to having good credit scores is paying your bills on time, every time. Whether they are several days or weeks early or right on time doesn’t really matter.
Most lenders report updates on their accounts only once a month, after all payments are processed for a billing cycle. The balance they report is the amount shown as due on your statement.
If you are trying to improve your utilization ratio, you need to pay down the balance before the due date and then not add to your balance by charging more the following month. The only way to have a zero balance is to avoid charging anything for an entire billing cycle.
Ideally, you should charge only the amount that you can pay in full each month. That keeps your balance low, avoids any finance charges, and helps you build a great credit history that will enable you to get the best rates on new credit.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team