As followers of this thread already are aware, I’m posting here as a newbie, a student if you will. I’m trying to learn the ropes and I assume (at least some) others are right here with me trying to learn, as well.
Up thread we together were instructed regarding Argyll’s Rule. Argyll has not posted for a while and I hope he is in good health and remains alive. I miss his wise counsel. Argyll taught the importance of paying down a credit card completely in advance of the cycle date (statement closing date). This in order to minimize utilization, which contributes significantly to credit score maintenance.
I want to offer a corollary to Argyll’s Rule or, if not a corollary, a related finding:
Underpinning Argyll’s Rule is the notion that credit card issuers generally send a report of your usage to the credit bureaus once each month, at the same time your statement cycles. That stands and nothing below changes it.
However, I am seeing evidence other events can also trigger the sending, by your credit card company, of a status report to the credit bureaus. In particular it appears to me large, off-cycle, payments you make can initiate sending of such an off-cycle report. Clearly this will vary from issuer to issuer.
Bottom line, if you fall into a utilization dilemma and want to raise your score to facilitate a better shot at obtaining new credit, it might be worth inquiring of your credit card company what it would take, payment wise or otherwise, for them to generate an off-cycle report for you.
Nobody likes to admit this but . . . . I messed up. With too many new cards I needed to get them all aligned, at least to the extent possible. “Aligned” just means getting the cards to where all the cycle days (of the month) are the same or at least close to one another. This makes management of payments easier.
Anyway, it got away from me a little during the alignment process and I had two closures in violation of Argyll’s Rule. These were not purposeful violations. I just lost track a bit and the statements closed before I realized what was happening. My utilization went from 0% up to only about 14%. But my credit score plunged between fifty and one hundred points (not certain exactly, but too much). I guess the FICO folks thought I needed money, or they thought I was not gonna pay, or God only knows what they were thinking.
Anyway, the obvious lesson here is: do not violate Argyll’s rule if you care about your credit score. But then, you already knew that.