New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-06-2009

How to Pay off Balances?

Having a little debate between friends about the best way to pay off credit card balances.


Im preparing my credit to buy a new home and have a few credit card balances. The debate is about the "best way" to pay off my balances in terms of credit scoring.


For Example:


Lets say I have 3 cards with 2K limit and 2K balance on all - and I have 3K extra to put towards balances.


Would I get the biggest bank for my buck by:


A) Paying 1K towards each bringing them all all to 50%

B) paying one off completely, then chipping away at the other 2?

Thank you in advance

Regular Contributor
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎02-13-2009

Re: How to Pay off Balances?



Both individual and overall utilization is important.

Established Contributor
Posts: 640
Registered: ‎09-02-2008

Re: How to Pay off Balances?

For the situation you have posted I would say option A. Overall utilization and individual card utilization is important and maxed out cards look really bad. Keep in mind that there are some "magic" barriers you want to be below and 49% utilization will be much better than 50% (just as 9% is better then 10%).


If this is a real situation I would say that, depending on what else is on your credit reports, you should wait on teh home purchase until you can get at least two of these cards paid off. Ideally the third would report below 9% utilization.  

Good luck. 

TU 810: EQ 813: EX 814 (9/16/09--Loan officer pull)

Helpful Threads
Frequently Requested Threads
Understanding your Fico Score

Get a myFICO recommended credit card

Copyright ©2001-2013 Fair Isaac Corporation.
All rights reserved.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All FICO® Score products made available on include a FICO® Score 8, along with additional FICO® Score versions based on Experian or Equifax data (additional FICO® Score versions based on TransUnion data are not currently available on Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than the versions you receive from myFICO, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more

FICO, myFICO, Score Watch, The score lenders use, and The Score That Matters are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation. Equifax Credit Report is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. and its affiliated companies. Many factors affect your FICO Score and the interest rates you may receive. Fair Isaac is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Fair Isaac does not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating. FTC's website on credit.