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Posts: 81
Registered: ‎02-13-2008

How to handle High utilization???

I have several credit cards with high balances.  They are all in good standing but that utilization is killing my score.


So my question is, I have some extra money, Do I


A) Pay off a couple balances entirely, leaving some others near their limits or


B) Pay some on every card I have to bring each of them down some, maybe like to 50%.


I won't come by this extra money again so I want to make sure I put it will it will count the most.  Thanks.

Valued Member
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎03-22-2009

Re: How to handle High utilization???

I would pay off the highest interest cards first one by one in order. This will save you money in the long run.

Once you zero a card out sock drawer it and move down the line until you get them all paid.


Hope this helps.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,291
Registered: ‎02-26-2008

Re: How to handle High utilization???

Fico750 wrote:

I would pay off the highest interest cards first one by one in order. This will save you money in the long run.

Once you zero a card out sock drawer it and move down the line until you get them all paid.


Hope this helps.

I agree. Highest interest first.
Moderator Emerita
Posts: 3,090
Registered: ‎08-09-2008

Re: How to handle High utilization???

[ Edited ]
I'm in agreement with paying off the balances with the highest interest rates. Is it possible to pay off the cards with the highest balances, and still pay some to the other cards to get the balances below "maxed out", even if just below that level?
Message Edited by LilMirth on 07-07-2009 01:20 PM


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Valued Member
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: How to handle High utilization???

From everything I have read on here, it does make more sense financially to pay off the highest interest cards first.


However, if utilization is the issue here, wouldn't it make more sense to get as many as you can below at least 50% and then target the highest interest first to finish them off.  FICO scores don't care about the interest rate, only the amounts carried.


I was recently denied credit because "too many cards with limits too close to the maximum." and this in turn hurts my score.

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 256
Registered: ‎04-16-2009

Re: How to handle High utilization???

I'm currently in the same situation...I was holding at 29% UTI for a while (still not great), but it was creeping up after using some cards for our vacation last month. I decided to pay less on several cards rather than more on just a few, because I thought it would be better for my score. (However, I did pay off a couple small balances.) Anyway, I've yet to see the impact on my score since they haven't all reported yet, but already I wish I had just paid off a couple big ones - this way was not satisfying at all. So score-wise, yeah it's probably better to get them all about 50%. But I think it's more personally satisfying to pay off one at a time.


If you do a little at a time, I think you're more likely to keep using the card. If you pay off a card completely, it's harder to start using it again because the $0 balance looks so nice. Smiley Happy

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