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Which is better? Pay down several, or Pay off some?

Regular Contributor

Which is better? Pay down several, or Pay off some?

Hey all.


So I am still in the rebuild stage and have one baddie that is hurting me(A CO that updated to this January =( ) that I can't do anything about as I already paid it.  So I am switching focus to what I can control and ulitization is my focus..  In January I was at 74% across all cards.  Currently to start February I am at 64%.  I have 24 lines of credit where 50% are over 80% utilized currently.  Obviously an issue I need to remedy.


I am now on the pay off train due to a change in my financial status.  But I am not entirely sure which avenue would yield the quickest bump in my scores.

This month I already started and I paid off 6 cards to 0 balances. (one 2k, one 1500, one 500, one 400, one 1k, and one 300).  Each was over 80% other than 2 that were 50% used (The smaller ones).


I am now wondering if that was not the right option.  


Going forward I have about $2k to $3k a month to throw at my cards above normal due.  


Which of these options would yield the soonest positive impact to my credit rating?

1. Each month pay off one or two cards to 0 balance.($1k+ limit cards bigger impact?)

2. Each month pay down 4 to 6 cards by large amounts to reduce individual util?  

     2a. If so which ones?  The larger (2k+) or smaller (500ish)?  Or combination?


Right now I am in no need for credit but I am trying to improve things for a motorcycle refinance this summer and vehicle purchase in August.  (My lease is up).  I am also just wanting to be debt free from a credit perspective by EOY.  


Thank you

Starting FICO8 June 2017: EQ: 514 - EX: 491 - TU: 521 Pre-BK7
FICO8 March 2023: EQ: 703 - EX- 680 - TU: 671
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Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Which is better? Pay down several, or Pay off some?

You have the right mindset on paying these down. As we say here fianances over FICO. Forget the scores for now. Pay the highest interest card first and then work your way down. Do not use the cards until its over and done with. Swipe fever will subside. Once you see the scores go up. You'll be less likely to start swiping again and get back into the hole your coming out of. Mostly paying interest which is they get richer for carrying balances. Good Luck!

Homeowner Sept 2020. 2021 Explorer ST Chase 3.1%. Sharing my recovery after BK from learning here. Started 540's. EX FICO 9 801 as of 05/03/2023. I stayed around to pay it forward for those who helped me back then.
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