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3 Q's regarding credit utilization???
3 Q's

Why didn't my CC utilization percentage drop?

When is the best time to pay in billing cycle?

Can I dispute these inaccuracies?

1) Only have one card atm and it's a $500 secured visa. My statement closing date last month was 8/13/15 and the due date was 9/07/15. So the statement I received in the mail that month said I had a balance of $99 due. I figured I'd return some merchandise worth $60 on 8/25 to lower my balance to $39 (8% CCU) .. Checked Credit Karma and it said that the balance reported was still $99 (20% CCU). Why didn't it lower my CCU when I only actually paid $39 on 8/27 before the due date?

2) This month's statement closing date is 9/11/15 and the due date is 10/07/15. By 9/09, I was able to accumulate a balance of $35 (7% CCU) and decided to pay it in full the next day, 9/10. So now I have a $0 balance. Checked Credit Karma and the balance reported was $0 (0% CCU). I have read that it's best to keep a CCU between 1%-10% for individuals with only one card. When is the best time to pay in the billing cycle? Because I want to show that I'm trying to use my card wisely.

3) Should I report these two as inaccuracies and file a written dispute? Should I talk to my credit union first or go straight to the 3 credit bureaus?

Thanks for all the help as I'm very new to credit. However, I've gotten my free report from Trans and Equifax and they were reported to be the same.

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At the statement date you had a balance of $99 and it will stay at $99 on your reports until the next time the credit card company reports your account (next statement time). You are correct that you should let one card report a small balance each month (1-10% of the line). Let that small balance report (meaning let a balance on the card at statement time so it reports to the bureaus and then pay it off before the due date. (Make your payment in between the statement date and the due date). You should not dispute anything or talk to your credit union because there is no problem here. It would really benefit you to take an hour or two a day for the next couple of months to read everything that you can on credit. The knowledge that you gain will last a lifetime and will be time well spent.

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Good Questions.

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It is very smart to ask questions when you are unsure of how to proceed. 

1) The reason the CCU did not lower is that the credit for the returned merchandise would not be posted to the account until the next closing date.  The closing date on accounts is when they total all purchases made between closing dates, and subtract all payments during this time, then they generate the bill.  That return you made was between closing dates so would be recorded on the 09/11/15 statement.

2) The ideal utilization rate is 10% or lower, but you do not have to keep any balance on your account to get it. Why end up paying interest when you don't have to, which is what would happen if you did not pay the account in full.  Please avoid paying an account until after the bill is generated so that you do not end up with a 0% utilization though you did use the card.  Ideally, you use no more than 10% of your credit limit and you pay it in full before the due date after the bill arrives.  This way, you show reasonable utilization and a good payment history which are positive things on your credit score.

3) The only things to dispute on any credit report are wrong information such as an account showing that you did not open, another name on your report that you do not know or authorize, or wrong address. The information you have reported is correct.  You admitted you are new to credit and it takes a little time to learn everything, but you are off to a good start.  Please consider re-reading the articles on this site to help improve your understanding of how credit works and how to build yours.  I am trained in accounting and learned a lot from the articles since credit is not a topic addressed in schools.  Also, use the interactive financial tools on this site, too.    

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