... 1. Should we pay off one card at a time? If so, in what order? Balance? Interest? 2. Should we put some money toward each card now? If so, what percentage?
Depends on what your motivation is: improved scores ASAP or improved finances ASAP. They sometimes work against one another.
For improved scores, follow the great advice you got above.
For improved finances, and if you're not applying for anything right away, just go with the highest interest card first, then next highest, and so forth.
My one caveat about the highest-interest card first is that in this day and age, CCC's get very nervous about cards with over 85% or so util, which they regard as maxed out. So I would uniformly get each card under 70% util as quickly as possible, and then go with the scores improvement approach or the saving interest approach. This is especially important with your Juniper Visa, as it has the most potential for a "keeper" card, and Juni is very twitchy about problem accounts.
So with the cards you listed, here are initial targets:
Discount Tire: $573.02 - $700 CL - 82% --> shoot for under $490 Direct Merchants Bank: $634.12 / $600 CL / 106% --> shoot for under $420 Juniper Visa: $442.61 / $500 CL / 89% --> shoot for under $350 CareCredit: $804.31 / $2000 CL / 40% OK for now Dell: $2264.98 / $2500 CL / 91% --> shoot for under $1750 Dell: $2385.52 / $2500 CL / 95% --> shoot for under $1750
Once you've hit those targets, it's up to you. And you'll do best if all cards are removed from your wallet for now. (We call this "sock-drawering," as in keeping them in your sock drawer unused.) I would break the Juni out once a month for a tank of gas, though.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit? FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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