4 Methods of Mastering Your Credit Utilization Ratio

As one of the biggest factors involved with calculating your credit score, it plays an important part in your finances. If you want to protect your online credit history, you’ll want to become the master of your utilization ratio.

But how do you go about doing that? Keep scrolling to find out!

A Low Ratio is the Way to Go

Your ratio may fall anywhere between zero and 100. And in this particular instance, you want to stay far away from 100 percent.

This number means you’re maxing out your line of credit. This may look bad to financial institutions who check this ratio. It indicates you’re struggling to balance your bills. You may be regularly tapping into your accounts without paying off their balances.

Zero, on the other hand, shows to financial institutions you’re on top of your line of credit and similar accounts. If you use them, you pay off their balances in full.

That being said, a cool zero is a daring test of your financial abilities. A far more practical goal is making sure you use 30 percent or less of your limits.

1. Use Revolving Accounts Sparingly

One way to manage your ratio is to limit how often you use it. A line of credit should really only help you out in unexpected emergencies when your savings fall short.

Keep this in mind the next time you think about using it. If it’s not an emergency, try putting that purchase on hold until you save up what you need.

2. Know How Close You Are

Keeping to 30 percent or less may be a challenge if you don’t know your starting percentage. Without this intel, you might think you’re using less than you really are.

Calculating your ratio is simple. All you need to do is divide the sum of all your balances by the sum of all your total limits. Then multiply this result by 100.

3. Pay More Often

Paying off your purchases as you charge them may help you control your growing balance. If you manage to keep your ratio below 30 between each additional payment, you may lower your ratio.

Just make sure your financial institution doesn’t charge extra for making early payments.

4. Ask for a Higher Limit

The previous tips may be tricky if you’re working with small accounts. A $500 charge to an account with a $1,000 limit will be worth more than if you had a limit of $5,000.  In terms of your ratio, the difference is between using 50 percent and 10 percent!

Ask if your financial institution is willing to up your limit. This upgrade means you may see your ratio fall even if you don’t change your spending habits.

Just make sure you don’t increase your spending to match your new limit. Otherwise, this won’t help manage your ratio.

While each of these tips may impact your ratio on their own, they’re at their most effective when you do them together. Follow this advice to tackle your utilization ratio. The results may help you build positive credit history in your consumer file.

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