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calypso16

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Is utilization the amount you charge on the card total? Or just the balance between months
So I'm very new to this and a little confused as to exactly what utilization means. Say you have a $1,000 limit, and you want to have %20 utilization. Does that mean that you should only ever charge $200/month on it? Or is it that you could charge a different amount (say $700) and make a payment of $500 that would get it down to $200 before the end of each month

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Yes, if you used $200 within the 30 day cycle that's what will show up.  In general the best utilization is 1% to no more than 9% overall.

Now what shows up on your report really depends on each institution.  Say you have an account with ABC Bank for a credit card.  They may report the $200 balance on the $1,000 BEFORE the statement date or another XYZ Bank may wait 3-4 days AFTER the statement.  To be on the safe side if you want your report to show any activity but with low utilization I would pay it down before one week the payment due date.  More than likely if you wait until your statement comes out, that's what the balance will show on your report even if you paid that $500 you mentioned before the due date.

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