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How to repair credit after paying off student loans?
After a modest windfall from changing jobs last year (Cashed out unused PTO plus a good tax refund because of it.), instead of blowing it on frivolity I decided to do what I thought was the responsible thing and pay off my student loans. They had been a source of serious agony during a period of extended underemployment about 10 years ago and I was relieved to get that albatross off my neck.

But once the payoff hit Equifax's system, my score plummeted from the 800s into the 700s. And I've no doubt TransUnion will not be far behind. I've already done my googling and I know why it happened. The student loans were my oldest lines of credit and my only installment loans since I paid my car off early and currently rent my home.

What I've been unable to find, though, is any advice on how to fix my mistake. I obviously can't go back and un-pay-off the loans. I plan to keep my car at least three more years, so no new car loan is forthcoming. Having trashed my credit score, I can forget about a mortgage; and it was going to be two more years to save for a down payment & safety fund anyway. I have very low utilization on evert credit card except the one I use the most (gives the best points). So besides spreading my spending around more between the cards, I'm kind of at a loss.

So... any ideas of what I can do to repair the damage I've done? It doesn't even have to be quick. But in two years, I would like to be able to qualify for that mortgage. I'm perfectly open to opening a bunch more credit cards to hack my ratios. But I don't see where I can get an installment loan anytime soon.

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