Your credit utilization ratio is how much money you owe on all of your credit scores and other revolving debt divided by all of your total available credit.
For example, if you owed $1,000 on credit card A with a credit limit of $3,000, and you owed $2,000 on credit card B with a credit limit of $7,000, then your credit utilization would be 30% as you owe a total of $3,000 and have a total limit of $10,000.
Under the FICO score method, your credit utilization ratio amounts to 30% of your credit score.
Use the below calculator to determine your credit utilization ratio.
What Impacts Your Credit Utilization Ratio
Your credit utilization ratio is impacted when you open and close revolving credit accounts such as credit cards, when your credit balances change, and when your credit limits change.
If you open a new credit card and your balances remain the same, your credit utilization ratio will decrease because you now have more credit available but haven’t used any of it.
On the other hand, if you use a credit card and run up a significant balance that you don’t pay off, your credit utilization ratio will increase, which can lower your credit score if your ratio gets too high.
Why Does Your Credit Utilization Ratio Matter?
Keeping your credit utilization ratio low is important for improving your credit score, as your credit utilization ratio makes up 30% of your score. This is the second biggest factor in how your credit score is calculated.
When you maintain a low balance and have high available limits, you’re showing lenders that you’re a borrower who is responsible with their credit.
Since your credit utilization ratio is the second biggest factor in calculating your credit score, your credit score can be swayed in either direction if your ratio suddenly gets very high or vice versa if you pay off a great deal of debt over a short period.
How to Calculate Your Credit Utilization Ratio
You can calculate your credit utilization ratio by adding all of the balances on all of your credit cards and other revolving debts and then dividing that by the sum of all the limits of those debts. Finally, multiply by 100 to get your credit utilization ratio as a percentage.
What is a Good Credit Utilization Ratio?
It’s generally agreed upon to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%, though the lower your ratio is, the better for improving your credit score.
How Do You Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio?
There are two ways to lower your credit utilization ratio. The first way is to lower your credit balances by paying off debt. The second way is to increase the maximum amount of credit you have available to you.