Which credit cards should I pay off first?

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Bay area Joe
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Which credit cards should I pay off first?

Postby Bay area Joe » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:15 pm

To all;

This forum has proven useful with regards to information. There is so much info out here and I am sure the question has been brought up many times.

My situation;

  • I have 7 credit cards some old some new.
All my current balances are at 0% right now. I will list them;

  • Discover, limit 8300, balance 1700
  • Citi Diamond, limit 8300, balance 6100
  • Chase SW, limit 3500, balance 800
  • Chase Marriot, limit 12,000, balance 400
  • B of A, limit 2500, balance 900
  • Wells Fargo, Limit 3500, balance 1100
  • RC Willey, limit 5000, balance 700
I have about 5000 cash that I can pay down right.

What cards should I pay down first? and when should I pay them to get best result on credit score.

I am planning on purchasing a used (2010) car at end of year. I still have another 5k for down payment for car purchase.

I have a recent 25k car loan that will be paid off this month.

Do I pay all the small ones first to have a zero balance on them or just get them all on average at say 10% to 15% utilization.

I have zero bad credit not a baddy ever on any one of them EVER !!!!


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Postby agp » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:17 am

What off whatever credit card with the highest APR first then go down the list

Main Card: Amex Platinum
For gas: Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
For travel & dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby kcarter609 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:53 am

By my count, that's $11,700 in credit card debt. Perhaps you should hold off on a car loan until you can pay off all of those CCs. What are the interest rates on all of them?

Active Cards:
Chase Freedom 10+10 Visa Signature ($9k Limit - 8/2012)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($10k Limit - 2/2013)
Chase Ink Plus ($7k Limit - 2/2013)
Discover IT ($9.5k Limit - 10/2012)
AMEX Zync (No Pre-set Limit - 1/2010)
AMEX Blue Cash Everyday ($20k Limit - 1/2013 - Backdate to 1/2010)

Bay area Joe
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Postby Bay area Joe » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:29 am

Thank you,

All my balances are at 0% interest.

I could use other savings to pay down even more of the CC balances, but they are all at 0%. I would rather have more on hand cash reserves.

Just trying to maximaize credit score.

Last I checked I was sitting at FICO at 715, would like to be at about 750-760 when I apply for car loan.

Just wondering if better to pay the one card that is high balance or spread the 5k or slightly more across all cards to get everythiing equal for utilization ?


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Postby kashmac123 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:04 am

Good luck, try to keep your balance below 30%.

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Postby SkyKing » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:14 am

The card that has the highest balance is the card you should work on first, to get it down to under 50% . Then, the rest is just a toss up. I like to have a sense of accomplishment, so I pay cards off one at a time, instead of picking away at them all. I'm not advocating not paying them all every month, but, make minimum payments on others while working hard on one or two cards to get them paid off, then work from there until they'll all paid. I can actually see what I've accomplished that way, but the most important is to have all credit cards under 50% of available credit. Hope this helps.
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Postby trumpet-205 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:54 am

Pay off whichever has the least amount of balance, not highest APR.

Snowball method is the way to reduce debt. By paying off balance with the least amount of balance, you are freeing more minimum payment torwards other card.
In My Wallet:
Citi Forward (12/2010) | Citi TY Preferred (05/2011) | Chase Freedom (11/2011) | GECRB/PayPal (05/2012)
Discover it (07/2012) | AMEX BCP (09/2012) | TD/Target REDCard (10/2012) | Chase Ink Classic (11/2012)
BofA BBR (04/2013) | FNBO/Overstock.com (02/2014) | Barclaycard Arrival (04/2014) | FIA/Fidelity AMEX (04/2014)

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Postby DavidNY » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:43 pm

Sort cards by APR and pay off the one with the highest APR first.

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Postby Daniel » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:23 pm

Depending on your goal, there are a couple options.

If you are trying to maximize your credit score at the time you apply for a car loan and are only worried about maximizing the balance utilization portion of your score, the general consensus is that you should keep your utilization at 5-30% of what you have available. It is interesting to note that you don't have to carry a balance according to most sources, the total outstanding vs the total available credit on your last billing statements is typically used for your utilization scores.

If you are attempting to have the lowest minimum payment possible, then the best method typically is to pay off your smallest balances first. This method was mentioned by Trumpet above.

If you are trying to minimize your interest cost, then the best method typically is to pay off your largest APR cards first. This was mentioned by many people above.

In addition to this, it is important to make sure individual lines are not showing too high of a utilization percentage. Keeping cards with high utilization ratios carries the risk of having your credit limit reduced by the individual lender, thereby increasing your credit utilization ratio.

Overall, it helps to not carry balances on cards due to the high interest rate on them. Personal loans from your personal banker or crowd sourced lending like Lending Club tend to be options with much less penalizing borrowing costs when compared to credit cards.

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