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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-would-hate-to-give-up-all-of-the-cash-back-i-30538400.aspx

Subject:  Re: Debt-to-income ratio if self-employed Date:  2/12/2013  1:13 PM
Author:  ptheland Number:  124739 of 127680

I would hate to give up all of the cash back I earn on those cards.

I have heard (so insert big, fat rumor alert here) that many cards report your statement balance to the bureaus. If that is correct, paying the balance right before the statement date should serve to dramatically lower the reported balances.

But we don't have to deal with rumors. You can just run your own test.

You get a free credit report from every bureau each year. So take advantage of that.

Figure out your statement date, then pay your outstanding balance a couple of days before that date (to allow the bank a little time to get the payment posted to your account.)

Wait a couple of weeks, then order up a copy of your credit report from ONE of the bureaus. Look for that card, and see what balance they are reporting. If it's not the pretty low balance from your most recent statement, try to figure out what balance that is. Try using your card's online access to see your balance at each day over the last couple of months. With a bit of luck, the number should pop out at you.

Armed with that new information, try again next month, but get the free credit report from a different bureau. Hopefully, you'll have success at getting a low number to show up on that report. If not, you've got one more shot at the last bureau following month.

On the other hand, paying once a week should do a pretty good job of keeping the reported balance low. And would be a lot less work.

I just like figuring out systems like this. Particularly systems that are easy to game - and due to their blatant illogic almost deserved to be gamed.

--Peter
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