The only thing I wish I had done when I was younger is found these forums a lot sooner.
You don't want to be like me and screw yourself over for many years. I'm gonna take it one step further and tell you to close all of your accounts Except the wells Fargo. Close them all so you're not tempted to use them. Do not default on any of your lines.. Always at least pay the minimum...
Call the credit card companies to see if they can lower your interest rates, you have nothing to lose and nothing but time. You'll be much better off managing 1 credit card and when you have more reliable income obtaining another. By the time you're 21, you;ll be in the perfect position to add another card. By the time you're 22 and graduating, you'll already have a decent credit score.
Again, I'm gonna tell you point blank to close all of your accounts ASAP excpet the wells fargo. Going this route you'll have an established history at the age of 22. If something happens, and you default on bills this young, you'll have to essentially wait 7 yrs which will put you at 25.. Which in a worst case scenario is the time you'll just start "reestablishing" your credit.
You balances are low enough you should pay them off from lowest limit to highest.. So 1st financial, Credit one, First premier and State Farm.
The reason I wish I had found these forums earlier, is because of the people who would have helped me make much wiser decisions. I'm currently 43, have a business that generates over 1 million/yr and have a high Max unsecured Credit limit of $300.00. I can't finance a thing.
I thought closing your card hurts you...? Or am I fine because they are so new? I’d like to close all of them but Wells Fargo. I actually bank with them (checking & savings) for the last 4, almost 5 years.
Closing a card usually only hurt you in the sense that you have less available credit, therefore your utilization ratio may go up. It will not affect your average account age immediately because even closed accounts with zero balance are still reported for up to 10 years after closure. Since your utilization ratio is already high to begin with, you may not even see a score impact from the loss of available credit. Utilization also has no memory, so your scores will immediately improve from month to month as you pay your balances down. Plus you get the benefit of not being tempted to use your cards as you pay down your debt.
IMHO, the thing you should consider is whether there are any potential cashflow issues from loss of available credit limit. I know it's generally frowned upon on here to depend on high interest credit card debt to fund emergency expenses or even day to day expenses. However, if you are already doing that, going cold turkey and cutting off your funding source may be too much of a shock too quickly, especially since many people in this situation may have no other sources of cashflow or savings funds. If your CCs are the only thing funding your next meal, don't run out the close them right away. Survival still takes priority. Sit down, make a plan for all aspects of your finances and stick to it as much as possible.
Credit score should be the least of your concern as you shouldn't be applying for anything anytime soon, that said, closing accounts will have no effect on your score as closed accounts will continue to report for up to 10 years. This is what I would do for now,
1. Close that First Premier card tomorrow.
2. Focus on paying off Credit One while keeping up with other minimums, as soon as it debt is paid, put it on the chopping block.
3. Next move would be State Farm, if this card has no AF, you can keep it after pay off and just make a small charge per month and PIF by due date. If you don't trust yourself not to run up the balance, close it.
4. Kill off First Financial, if it doesn't have an AF, you can keep it but just like State Farm, small charge then PIF, close it if you can't do it, carrying a balance on a 31.9% APR card would be a killer.
5. Pay off WF, again small charge and PIF, with 3 accounts (or 1) registering on time payments for the next few years will do wonders for your profile, giving your a head start when you graduate with a real income.