Wait for loan payoffs to report to apply for student loans?
This forum has always been super helpful in learning about credit and finances and has helped me avoid stupid mistakes that would have hurt my scores. I sometimes feel I overthink things and this might be one of them, so appreciate anyone with knowledge that could be helpful here.
I am going back to school this fall and will be looking at some private loans since I expect I can get a better interest rate and no fees vs. the Grad PLUS Loan at 7.00% and 4.267% fee (will be doing the federal Direct loan though for sure and balance out with some better protections and options with federal loans).
In preparing to go back to school I sold my car (paying off a loan balance) and also paid off a $2,000 balance on a personal loan. I was going to do this anyways, but I also figured it might look good when applying for a student loan to have my total debt drop (to the tune of about $650 in monthly payments). It will raise my balance/original on my remaining loans (student) from 56% when the car/personal loan were on there to 64% after the payoffs report though. Maybe should have left a small balance on the personal loan, but was kind of ready to be done with it.
My scores are currently 792 Equifax, 773 Transunion, 796 Experian. Early this next week the last two credit card statements I am waiting on should report and my highest utilization card with a current 0% BT will cross from 34% to 27% and my overall utilization will drop from 10.5% to 8.7%ish. So hoping for a bump from those. Contemplated AZEO but since all my CC debt is currently 0% I'd prefer to have the cash on hand starting school (would have taken most of my savings). At least on Experian I think it will be showing less than 1/3 of my cards reporting a balance (they look to have a $13/$15,700 AMEX balance at 0% utilization luckily. That $13 autopay charge stupidly snuck up on me right before the statement cut. Not sure how the other two will report it).
Wondering if anyone has strong opinions or knowledge on whether it benefits me to wait for the loan payoffs to report (to show lower debt), if it might hurt my scores (to have loan balances slightly jump from 56% to 64% when they do report), or if it's all kind of irrelevant with my current scores? Getting the lowest interest rate possible on these loans is my goal. It looks like my car and personal loans have reported around the 30th of each month, but my personal loan looks to be two months behind in terms of reporting. Haven't heard back from them (Prosper) on when they will report. I probably should apply by the first week of July for student loans to have every squared away for school. If they aren't reporting by then I'll probably just apply, but if it makes no difference once I have my scores this week from recent credit card payments it would be nice to just start the process. Thanks for your help!