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What do you do once you have almost a perfect credit score?


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    Once you've reached the peak of the credit score summit, what next? Say you have an 800 credit score, and you have $50,000 in available credit spread out among 8 or so credit cards (Some from stores, and some from credit card companies etc), and you have $10,000 left on your vehicle. What is the next smart move? I've seen on Credit Karma where it suggests to consider buying a house. I'm not sure if that's the smartest of next moves right now. Also, how regularly do you have to use your cards to keep the companies from shutting them down?
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    That's a tough one, but it's also a pretty good conundrum to be in all things considered.

    Personally, I think being debt free (not counting a mortgage or car payment) is the most important thing. I used to have a lot of credit card debt, but diligently worked to pay it off and then closed all but two accounts as I paid down my debts - one personal card and one joint card I share with my wife. Closing accounts after paying them off typically doesn't negatively affect your credit score, so if you're mainly worried about your score then that's an option. However, your available credit will likely decrease as you close out accounts.

    With regards to the $10,000 remaining on a car, it all depends on the interest rate you're currently paying on it. If it's les than 1% then you may as well just keep paying your monthly payments until you pay it off. However, if it's 3-4% (or higher) and you have the money then paying as much off as you can now can save you a considerable amount of money.

    When it comes to purchasing a home, I'd only do that if you can pay a down payment of 20% or more. You probably don't have to put down that much, but that's the recommended amount to get good terms on your mortgage.

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    You generally want to use your credit cards on a semi-regular basis, just to maintain a history of usage. Otherwise they will get cancelled eventually. Every card company and card type though has different stipulations. Some never cancel, especially those with annual fees. Others will after 6 months - 1 year of inactivity.

    If you want to maintain that $50k available credit amount, then I would suggest using each card (except the store cards obviously) for exactly 1 recurring charge. Like a bill you already pay every month - Netflix, electricity bill, internet, etc. Something you can setup on autopay.

    And, this is important, pay off that charge every month on or before the due date. That will keep your cards active, but will have you avoiding any interest from ever being charged. That's the trick. And another plus, if your card gives cash back rewards, you get a small discount/reward for doing this.

    Example:
    I have a Discover card that I only now use for Netflix. It has a cash back program. So, every month I get my bill and pay Netflix minus my 17 cent (not much, but something) cash back from the charge, and then always keep the balance at $0. But the card stays active and helps my overall credit age, available credit and overall credit to debt ratio.

    If you don't care about your available credit, or fear having $50k is too tempting to fall back into debt, then consider cancelling all but 1-2 of them. Keep your oldest ones active, ideally the oldest accounts with the highest limits. Because reducing your average credit age or your overall credit limit both can lower your credit score.

    As for getting a house, if you have a 800 score or above, you are just fine. No more need to 'play the game'. You already won. You don't need to go into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt just to push for 850 or whatever. Wait until you have a reasonable down payment and the situation and home is right for you. I wouldn't rush it.

    Congrats on the high score.