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The Effects of Charging Over Your Credit Card Limit

Dear Experian,

I was surprised to see my credit card was reported over the limit by $19 within five days of the charge occurring. Even though it was paid within the statement date, my credit score went down by seven points. Why?

– ANW

Dear ANW,

Charging more than your credit limit has a negative effect on your credit scores because it is a strong indicator of poor credit management and high lending risk.. Even when it is only a small amount, charging more than your credit card limit could result in over-the-limit fees, a decrease in your credit limit, or other penalties imposed by the credit card provider, in addition to the impact on your credit report and credit scores. Habitually over charging could result in the account being closed by the lender.

Because lenders view this negatively, some may decrease your credit limits or increase your interest rates if an over-the-limit status appears on another account in your credit history, so it could affect more than just that one credit card.

Since you’ve already paid off the amount in question, the best way to recover is to reduce your balances and make sure not to charge over the limit again, even by a small amount.

In terms of creditworthiness, the lower you keep your credit card balances, the better. The best thing you can do is pay the balance in full each month. This will help your credit scores and help you to keep the best rates and terms on your accounts.

Thanks for asking.
The “Ask Experian” team

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