Over the last few months, I have heard from several people asking me about a new credit hack and what I think about it. To be honest I had never heard of this one so I had to do a little research. What I found was several companies who are pushing a “new” credit tip. There are different names for it, but one of the most popular names for it is the 15/3 method. If you do a simple search for 15/3 method you will find all kinds of articles explaining how this is great for your credit score. Now I will say if you follow this scheme, it will not hurt you. The problem I have is that it’s misleading and it is factually incorrect. That’s why I want to explain this to you in more detail:
In a nutshell here is the 15/3 method-
- Refer to your credit card statement for your payment due date.
- Then, count back 15 calendar days from that due date and pay half of your credit card balance on that date.
- Pay the remaining balance three days before your statement due date
Here is the main point behind this garbage plan; “this method works by causing the system to count two payments per month.” The main play they are pushing with this is that by doing this you will get double positive reports each month added to your payment history. The problem is that this is not how credit cards or credit reporting works. Credit cards report to bureaus one time per month and that is it! Making two payments or 15 payments per month will not matter or help your credit like they claim. One time per month, and the time they report is when the billing cycle ends.
Claims like this one will never stop. There are many people that try to have some secret ingredient to trick the credit score but the reality is most of these ideas are flawed. The ONLY good thing about this theory is it is not going to hurt your credit but also it is not going to help your credit like they claim. However, I have a hard time when people push ideas that are so easily debunked with just the smallest amount of knowledge on how credit scores and credit reporting actually work.
2 main things to remember about credit cards-
- Make your payment on time (sounds simple I know).
- Try to keep your balances down compared to your limits. Ideally if you can keep the balances under 10% of the limit you will be doing great in that part of your score.
Lastly, please be careful who you listen to with YOUR credit scores! There are many flashy ideas out there about ways to improve your credit scores but in reality, most of them either don’t work or worse, many of them actually end up hurting you more than they help!