Call and ask what happens if you pay off almost all of it except for lets say $1000. Ask if you have to make payments or if you can just wait until the balance drops to where you have to start making payments.
$10,000 loan with $200 monthly payments. (50 payments)
If you could pay $9000 now when would you have to make your next payment?
My car loan company said I didn't have to make another payment until the amount dropped to $1000 in this case. So each month I sent in $1 to report to that CRAs. They hated me. I stretched out my loan for years! I paid virtually no interest and got credit for long term payment history.
Util% of debt on installments has a minimal affect on scores. Rather someone has high or low installment balances is moot, it's all about paying on time. I do agree with your post though.
RobertEG wrote:You must know what game you are playing in. If the game is to quickly reduce debt and interest payments, then dont track FICO. Having installment debt helps FICO, but costs you interest. If the game is to increase FICO, keep the installment loan, and pay the interest price. But FICO score chasing is usually the focus of those seeking new credit, and not improving current status. Chase FICO, get the score up, and then use that to secure new credit... the result is gaming FICO, and increasing debt. Take your poison.