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Question By
marceliotr

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on-time payments
Do statements with "no balance" or "no balance" due count as an "on-time payment"? Or do I need to actually have charges for the month for it to count as an "on-time" payment?

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Top Contributor
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For maximum benefit to your score, you need to actually use your cards.  
On your credit report it's noted as "pays as agrees," which means you and the credit card companies agree that if you don't charge anything you won't have to pay them anything. The payment history part of your score isn't so much a tally of on-time payments as it is a record of late payments. By not using your card you aren't getting any late payments over time and it seems like it would be a good way to boost your score, but creditors are wise to this strategy. By tracking utilization as well as payment history, they can tell whether your card is being used or if it's buried in your sock drawer. That's why zero utilization is only a little better than high utilization--if you don't use your cards at all, creditors can't tell how responsible you are about paying the amount due on time.

Use your cards, but keep utilization under 10% for best results. 

Top Contributor
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You do not need to use every card that you have every month. You only need to use one card per month and show less than 10% utilization for best scoring results. If you do not use a credit card, some FICO models will ding you for not showing revolving activity. If more than 10% of your credit line is reported to the credit bureaus then you are dinged for utilizing the card too much. Long story short, it doesn't matter if you use a card or not, the lender will still mark it as paid as agreed (at least most lenders do). Be sure to continue to read all that you can about credit.

Reply by
karahc

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I have a question for you...

Do you agree with the response above yours that states that, "The payment history part of your score isn't so much a tally of on-time payments as it is a record of late payments." ? I wish I could double check that they have this correct. It looks like I have been stuck at the same Total On-time payments # for a long time.

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