Currently, my scores are sitting around the 600-610 mark across the board. I have one negative (30 day late) on my report which was from last August. We moved, I missed the statement and you can figure out the rest.
My question has to do with utilzation. Is it better for me to focus on paying off one card at a time to 0% utilization or to gradually bring each card down by paying more than the minimums across the board. We have high utilization on the majority of our credit cards, and I'd like to work at improving my score to secure a mortgage in the next year or so.
Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!
From what I've read, I would recommend paying down each similarly so that none of the cards are utilized more than 30% if possible. From there, you could pay down all but one card to $0 balance, assuming you have the funds to do so.
On 2/13 my mortgage lender pulled my scores. I needed a 10pt increase on middle score for pre-approval. My scores were:
EQ - 630
TU - 679
EX - 616
I also had high utilization on most of my credit cards. I began by making bigger payments across the board, sometimes making 2 or 3 pmts a month on those nearest their credit limit. Now that I have them all below 50% utilization, I'm able to focus on paying off those with the smallest balances. I have 9 cards, 4 have a $0 balance.
I also had 5 collections (4 medical, 1 Verizon $48) and a 30 day late from 2013. I paid Verizon and 2 of the medical accounts in full. Verizon now shows paid on my CR, one medical has been deleted (other should be removed next mo), and got the 30 day late removed by credit card issuer.
My scores were just pulled again on 3/17 and had increased more than I expected. They are now:
My FICO 8 scores have improved even more in just over a week. I purchased them here on 3/16. They were EQ-659 / TU-680 / EX-662. Today they are 672 / 692 / 679. I expect them to keep improving as I continuing paying down/off my cards and the other medical collection is removed. Reading these forums has helped me better understand how credit scores work and to increase my score faster than I thought was possible. Good luck to you!