Is there a way to make a credit report show the current balance on a card rather than the balance on the last statement?
A few lenders report updates to their accounts more often than once a month, but the vast majority do not. So, for most accounts your credit report shows the balance reported by your lender at the end of the last billing cycle, which was the amount shown on your statement.
Credit Card Balances and Your Utilization Rate
Your utilization rate is the second most important factor in credit scoring, right behind payment history. Utilization rate, also known as your balance-to-limit ratio, is determined by adding up the total balances reported on all your credit cards and dividing them by the total of all your credit limits.
Higher credit card balances can be viewed as a sign that you are over-extending yourself, so the lower your revolving balances, the better for your credit scores.
If you are trying to lower your utilization rate in order to increase your credit scores, the best thing to do is to pay down the balances on your credit card accounts and then keep them low throughout the month. This way, your credit scores will reflect low balances on your accounts no matter when your lenders update their information.
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The "Ask Experian" team