THIS is the optimal amount you should have on your credit card

THIS is the optimal amount you should have on your credit card

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

Ever wondered exactly how much you should be spending on your credit card to help boost your credit score? We looked into it.

When it comes to credit utilisation, most of us know that you don’t want your credit cards to be maxed out, but you also don’t want to not be using any credit at all. But where is that sweet spot in the middle? Well as it turns out, there is an optimal range - we researched the advice out there to see how much credit we should actually be using. 

Bear in mind, your credit utilisation ratio is determined by all of the credit available to you - so this could be an accumulation of multiple credit cards, overdraft or store cards.

What is credit utilisation? 

Credit card utilisation is the percentage of credit you’ve used vs the amount of credit available to you.

Let’s look at an example. If the combined limit of your credit cards is £2,000 and your balance is £1,000, your utilisation will be 50%. Or, if you’ve spent £500, the utilisation will be 25%, and so on.

What is the ideal ratio?

From our research, we found that it varies slightly depending on the source. We’ve seen advice to keep it below 30%, 25% and 20% as recommendations. So let’s dig deeper.

What do Experian say?

Experian recommend that you try to keep your credit utilisation to 25% and under.

They say that a lower percentage will be seen as a positive and as a result, should increase your score.

Research by Debt Camel

Previously Debt Camel have released research that says keeping it under 30% can increase your credit score by up to 90 points. Whereas using over 90% of your credit available can lose you 50 points.

What do ClearScore say?

ClearScore suggest you keep the balance below 30%, but say that 20% is “even better”.

Our conclusion and top tip?

Keep it as low as you can to ensure it has the best impact on your credit score.

In an ideal world, under 20% would be great - but if you can’t do that, try to stay between 20%-30% if at all possible. 

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate