I opened a secured credit card 18 months ago. This is my first and only card.
I have a credit limit of $200. Never missed a payment.
I understood you needed to be below a 30% utilization rate. And actually, I had a 0% utilization rate for 12 months. My score back then was 697.
But bankers (for mortgage) told me my score was not "usable" because there was no credit history (since I did not use the card).
So, I decided to use the card a little bit.
As soon as I started to use the credit card for $12 (6% utilization ratio on $200), my score dropped 4 pts even though I paid the $12 in time.
I tried again. My credit went from $12 to $22, but my score went down 2 points.
Can someone explain why my score dropped in this case even though I did things the right way?
What should I do to get an excellent score while building credit history?