A large part of your credit score is based on the information your credit card company reports to credit bureaus. The information credit card companies report helps FICO, a credit scoring company, determine your total credit card utilization and your payment patterns. Credit card companies don't all report to credit bureaus on a specified date; patterns vary among providers.
How Reporting Affects Your Credit Score
Periodic credit card statement reporting affects two major parts of your credit score: your payment history and your credit card utilization. The quality of your payment history comprises about 35 percent of your total credit score. When scoring your payment history, FICO looks at how many late payments you made, how late they were, how recently they occurred and how much you owed. Credit card utilization comprises around 30 percent of your score. FICO wants to see low monthly account balances relative to your total credit lines. In other words, being regularly maxed out on your credit card will lower your score.
A credit card company can potentially report any late payment to credit bureaus, even if it's only a couple of days late. However, not all credit card companies choose to do so. According to CreditCards.com, reporting patterns for late payments vary from company to company and may depend on the individual's relationship with the company. While some companies will report payments that are between one and 30 days late, others wait until 60 days after your statement close date to report late payments.
Credit Card Reporting Details
Even if you're making your payments promptly and regularly, credit card companies still report the nitty gritty details of your credit card usage to the credit bureaus. Again, exactly what's reported varies by company. Some report your account balance, your payment amount and your credit limit, while others report a combination of these details. Some report your statement details every month, others report on a bimonthly or periodic basis. There's no specific day after your statement close that credit card companies use to report.
Credit Card Utilization
Since you can't predict exactly when every credit card company will report to credit bureaus, it's important to keep your credit card utilization low on an ongoing basis. For ideal credit scoring, try to keep your credit spending at less than 10 percent of your total line of credit. Besides affecting your credit score, keeping a balance on a credit account usually means paying inflated interest rates. A revolving credit card balance can quickly get out of control; the more you leave unpaid, the more interest expense you'll incur and the harder it becomes to finally pay it off.
Based in San Diego, Calif., Madison Garcia is a writer specializing in business topics. Garcia received her Master of Science in accountancy from San Diego State University.