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When you have a balance on your credit card, your credit card issuer expects you to make a payment each month. As long as you pay at least the minimum amount owed by the due date, you can protect your credit from late payments and credit score damage.

But here's a credit score hack you might not be aware: If you make multiple credit card payments per month, it might be possible to give your credit score an added boost. We'll explain how that works and why it might be a good idea moving forward.

How Many Times Can I Pay My Credit Card in a Month?

There is no limit to how many times you can pay your credit card balance in a single month. But making more frequent payments within a month can help lower the overall balance reported to credit bureaus and reduce your credit utilization, which in turn positively impacts your credit.

If you have a tendency to make late payments, making weekly or biweekly payments can also help to lower your overall interest charges.

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How Credit Card Balances Are Reported in Credit Reports

Credit card issuers usually report to the credit card bureaus–Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—just once a month. They typically report the same details that appear on your credit card statement, like balance and payment status to the credit bureaus. When you make new charges and additional payments in between your monthly statement closing dates, this activity may not be reported to the credit bureaus or show up in your credit reports until the next cycle. 

Credit utilization, or the percentage of your credit limit that's in use, is a key detail that influences 30% of your FICO® Score. If you keep your balance low, you maintain a low credit utilization rate, which can increase your credit score.  

Here's an example of the timing of credit card payments and credit bureau reporting: 

  1. Your credit card has a $5,000 credit limit
  2. You charge $2,500 on your credit card
  3. You receive a statement at the end of your billing cycle 
  4. Your $2,500 balance is reported to credit bureaus
  5. Credit bureaus update your credit report—your credit utilization rate is now 50%
  6. You pay your balance in full and on time
  7. Your credit report, and your new 0% credit utilization, is not updated until next month 
  8. Your credit report still shows 50% utilization until the next month, and your credit score might suffer temporarily as a result

Benefits of Paying Your Balance Multiple Times a Month

Paying your credit card more than once a month can be a good idea if you can swing those extra payments. Here are several reasons why making multiple payments toward your credit card balance each month can benefit you:

  • It can improve your credit utilization rate: Credit utilization is the amount of credit you’re using relative to the total amount of credit you have. So when you routinely pay down your debt, your credit utilization rate should drop, which helps your credit score.
  • You might pay less in interest: If you carry a balance on your card, you’ll face costly interest charges, but paying down your bill a couple of times each month might help you lower or eliminate that balance—and the associated interest charges.
  • It could help you avoid late payments: When you pay more frequently, there’s less chance you’ll forget to make a payment and get hit with late charges. If you can schedule automatic payments, that can help even more.
  • It can help you stick to a budget: If you pay your bill more than once a month, it can help you keep a close eye on your spending to ensure you’re only charging what you can afford to pay off.
  • Your credit score may go up: The above factors, from lowering your credit utilization rate to avoid carrying a balance or slipping into debt, can help increase your credit score over time. So if you have the ability to make extra payments, you’ll likely see your credit improve.

Note that credit scoring models don't reward you for making multiple payments. In fact, the number of times you pay a credit card per month doesn't appear on your credit report at all.

Quick Tip

You don’t need to carry a balance on your credit cards to build good credit. This credit card myth could cost you a lot of money and damage your credit score at the same time.

Reasons You Wouldn’t Want to Make Multiple Payments a Month

Generally speaking, paying your credit card bill more than once a month is a good idea that can benefit you in several ways. But here are a few instances where it might not be a good idea:

  • It may make it harder to get approved for credit line increases: One downside of having a super-low credit utilization rate is that creditors might not approve you for a credit limit increase if they see you’re not using much of the credit you already have.
  • Your credit score is already excellent: It probably won’t hurt to pay your bill more frequently, but if your credit score is already sky-high, it might not be worth the extra time and effort each month to keep on top of extra payments.
  • You never carry a balance: Similarly, if you’re already paying down your balance to zero every month and aren’t trying to improve your credit score, you might not need to add more payments to your schedule.
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Should You Pay Your Credit Card Bill More Than Once a Month?

Paying your credit cards on time and in full each month can help you build good credit. But there's a chance that making multiple payments per month might increase your credit score because it can translate to a lower credit utilization rate on your credit report and cut down on interest charges. Whether you are paying your balance off weekly or multiple times before the due date, keeping a low statement balance and low credit utilization rate can be key to building strong credit.

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FAQs

  • Yes, making multiple payments each month can contribute to an increase in your credit score because your credit utilization ratio is a factor in your credit score. The impact is usually more prominent in cases where your overall credit limit is very low relative to your monthly purchases.

  • No, there is usually no harm to making multiple payments on a credit card. One caveat to be aware of is if your linked payment account has a low balance, you run the risk of incurring an overdraft fee if you don't monitor your funds closely.

  • If you tend to carry a balance, making multiple payments during a billing cycle can be a good idea because it will help to reduce the overall interest you'll pay.

ML

Michelle Lambright Black

Michelle Black is founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com. Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.