What is an Average Outstanding Balance in Terms of Credit Card?

  | Published: 18 August 2020 | Last Updated On: 29 December 2020

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An average outstanding balance in terms of credit cards is the unpaid balance of a loan or a loan portfolio that has applicable interest on it. This balance is averaged over a period of time, generally, it is one month. The average outstanding balance can be related to any term, revolving, credit cards, or installment in which there is an applicable rate of interest. It might also be an average measure of one’s total balances due over the course of time.

The average outstanding balance can be in contrast with the average collected balance. This is that part of the loan that has been paid back over the same period.

Average Outstanding Balance Explained

The average outstanding balance can be vital for quite some reasons. More importantly, this method might be taken into use to assess debt or interest. The kind of methodology that is taken into consideration can have an impact on how much interest is paid by a borrower.

To Further Summarize

  • The average outstanding balance is the unpaid part of any term, revolving, credit cards, or installment debt, which has an applicable rate of interest.
  • The interest applicable to revolving loans might be evaluated depending on an average balance method.
  • Outstanding balances due are reported by credit card providers to the credit bureaus every month. These are then used to calculate credit scores and underwriting of credit.

Applicable Interest on an Average Outstanding Balance

Many of the credit card issuers make use of the method known as the average daily outstanding balance for evaluating the interest to be applicable to revolving credit debt, in particular credit cards. Credit cardholders accumulate due balances as they spend on their credit cards all the way through the month. The average daily due balance method helps the card issuer to charge an interest that is slightly higher and considers the balances of the cardholder through the past days in a fixed period and not just on the date of closing.

With the calculations of the average daily due balances method, the card provider might consider an average of the outstanding dues over the course of the last 30 days and evaluate an interest on an everyday basis. Generally, an interest calculated by the average daily method over the statement cycle with the interest evaluated on a collective daily basis at the period’s end. Regardless, the periodic rate that is set is the APR or the annual percentage rate divided by 365. If the interest is calculated collectively once a cycle ends, it would be evaluated based on the cycle’s days.

There are various other methods that are also there. For instance, a simple average method can be used between the date of beginning and ending by dividing the balance at the beginning plus the balance at the ending by 2 and then evaluating the interest depending on a monthly rate.

The interest method used by the provider for credit cards is often listed in the credit card agreement. Some card providers might give the details on the calculations of the interest and the average balances in the monthly statements provided by them.

Consumer Credit

The credit providers report the outstanding balances to the credit bureaus every month. The credit card providers generally report the total outstanding dues of the borrower at the time when the report is provided. Some of the card providers might report the balances due at that point of time when the statement is issued while the other providers might opt to report the data on one particular day in a month. The balances are reported on all the types of non-revolving and revolving debt. With the balances due, credit providers also report the payment that is delinquent starting with sixty days late.

The timeliness of the payments along with your outstanding dues are the major factors that have an impact on your credit score. Professionals say that the borrowers should make sure to keep their outstanding balances below the benchmark of 30%. Those borrowers that tend to exceed 30% of the entire credit extended can simply improve their score from one month to another by making payments that are larger and thereby reduce the total due. When the total balance due starts to go down, the credit score of a borrower starts to improve. Timeliness of payments, however, is not that easy to improve since payments that are delinquent are one thing that can remain on one’s report for many years.

Average balances, generally, are not essentially part of the methodologies of credit scoring. However, if the balances of a borrower are largely changing over a shorter course of time because of debt accumulation or debt repayment, there is generally going to be a lag in the reporting of the total balance due to the credit bureaus. This can help in making tracking and assessing real-time outstanding dues slightly tough.