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I am slightly confused...

If I want my credit card to look really good, when do I make my (online) payment?

Pay in full a few days before the billing date, so that my actual bills are always for $0?

or...

Let the bill show an actual amount and then pay in full right away?

(I have a 25 day grace period if that makes a difference. My online payments are always posted the same day if made before 3 PM, or the next business day if made after 3 PM.)

thanks!!

sharon

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If you are carrying a balance, try to make your payment as soon as you get your bill, to reduce your interest charge.

If you are PIF, wait till the last minute. (But don't be late.) This gives you more time to use your money.

Thanks!
Joe
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If you are PIF, wait till the last minute. (But don't be late.) This gives you more time to use your money.--Thanks! Joe

But which day would that be?

For example:

I get my August 1st bill. I have a $0 balance.
Between August 10th and 20th I charge some stuff.

If I want to make sure things look good, should I

1. Pay (in full) around August 29th, (before my September 1st billing date) so the "bill" once again says $0?

or

2. Pay the bill (in full) on the September 2nd.

I actually prefer method #1, cause I like those $0 bills, but DH says that makes it looks like we just have a credit card we never use, and that method #2 shows we use credit responsibly, thus upping our FICO, etc, etc, blah blah blah.


sharon
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I actually prefer method #1, cause I like those $0 bills, but DH says that makes it looks like we just have a credit card we never use, and that method #2 shows we use credit responsibly, thus upping our FICO, etc, etc, blah blah blah.

The date that a CC reports to a CRA does not necessarily coincide with your billing date. So even though you may receive $0 bills, your credit report could show a balance depending on when the CC reported to the CRA.

Is there a particular reason you are this concerned with when to make the payment? If you do not carry a balance, I would pay as close to the due date as possible to maximize the time your money is working for you. If you do carry a balance, I would make the payment as soon as possible after the statement date to reduce the average daily balance.

I think if you go with the goal of not paying any finance charges, your credit report will take care of itself.

dt
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Pay in full a few days before the billing date, so that my actual bills are always for $0?

Why are you using a credit card at all if you are not taking advantage of the grace period?????

The best thing would be to buy items a day before your statement is done and pay just before the due date. If your statement is done on the 17th, buy on the 16th of August. It misses the August statement, shows up on the September statement and you don't have to pay until October. If you are able to keep you money in an intrest account, you will have a couple more pennies to add to your e-fund account.

If you're just charging and paying right away, you're not getting your moneys worth. Just driving up costs for the merchants (who have to pay 3%, I think on each charge) who then raise their prices.

Barbara
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You're overthinking this one. Pay the bill before the due date if you pay in full. There's no advantage to doing anything else unless you have a large purchase planned and need to free up the credit limit. (2gifts did this when building her house to get the Discover cash back for as many building materials as possible).

If you don't need to free up the credit, just pay it before the due date. If you mail it, they usually recommend mailing it a week before it's due. Have the money in an interest bearing account until then.

rad
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If you're just charging and paying right away, you're not getting your moneys worth.

Someone else also said, "Wait until the last minute." I don't do that, myself. If I've put something on credit I will pay it off as soon as I can, because doing so keeps me from forgetting that credit is real money. And also prevents me from spending that money on other things and winding up carrying a balance. If I know, when I make a purchase, that my rule is "Pay it off immediately"--then I think about my bills vs. my paycheck for the coming week, and I'm less likely to buy. Whereas, if I let myself think, "I have a whole month to pay this" I'm more likely to overspend and get stuck.

I know this isn't a concern for the original poster, for whom "wait til the last minute" is probably perfectly good advice. Just wanted to point out that for other readers, like myself, it might not be. If you see yourself here, just be careful. :-)



Mare
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Let the bill show an actual amount and then pay in full right away?

If by "look good," you mean, result in a higher FICO score, this would be the method. It shows you are actually using the card....If you are highly organized and responsible though, you'd actually be better off making the minimum payment immediately (just in case) but holding off the full payment until a few days before your statement closes -- this will allow YOU to earn interest, rather than allowing the credit card company to earn interest on your payment money.
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I am slightly confused...

If I want my credit card to look really good, when do I make my (online) payment?

Pay in full a few days before the billing date, so that my actual bills are always for $0?

or...

Let the bill show an actual amount and then pay in full right away?

(I have a 25 day grace period if that makes a difference. My online payments are always posted the same day if made before 3 PM, or the next business day if made after 3 PM.)


Hi Sharon!

I think it's great that you are determined to be responsible and look good to the lenders!

However, it really makes little difference to your credit card (and thus, your credit) when you pay the bill, as long as you pay it in time. If you pay the bill as soon as the bill is generated, that'll make it easy for you as you'll know it's taken care of, and you don't have to think about it. There's nothing wrong with that. But, the lender doesn't pay attention to whether it's paid on the first day or last possible day--just as long as it's paid. :-)

Best,

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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