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sarrowoo

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Overall utilization or line item?
I'm considering transferring a high balance on one card to multiple lower limit cards that are offering 0% APR promotions currently. Will this adversely affect my score in anyway since the balance is likely to max out several others in the process but completely wipe out my higher balance card? I've read conflicting information online; some say overall utilization is all the really matters and others say that having maxed out cards are huge red flags and should be avoided like the plague. My overall balance would stay the same after the transfers in this scenario but I would be able to pay it down quicker due to the interest savings. I'm also looking to buy a house this year while all of this is going on so I'm wondering how much my score will be impacted or if it will look like I have bad habits with maxed out cards. How explainable is this if maxed out cards are as big of an issue as it seems?

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I recently received checks from one credit card to allow a balance transfer at 0% for 12 months and I also purchased new appliances needed to repair my kitchen after a dishwasher overflow caused damage.  Insurance covered damage repair except for replacing the appliances.  BUT this caused the usage on that one account to exceed 50% and that lowered my credit score from excellent to good.  I can deal with because I have no intention of moving in the forseeable future.  Getting debts paid in full and saving on the interest is very good.  The faster all debts are paid, the better for one's credit score.

I suggest strongly, however, that you put off buying a house until after you have a sizeable down-payment fund after getting the debts cleared out so you can avoid dealing with PMI.  I also think you likely would be either turned down on a house while these debts are being repaid or end up being charged a higher than usual rate of interest.  Check out the home affordability tool on this site.

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