A utilization rate is simply the balance-to-limit ratio of your credit cards. You will want to keep all your credit card balances at a maximum of 30% of your credit card limit. Since credit scores change day-to-day, your credit card balance can appear higher on one day than another, say the day that you pay your bills. This will put you in the best position with credit-scoring bureaus.

If you have any credit cards that are above the 30% utilization rate, you will need to come up with a plan. You can start by making the minimum payments on every card but the one with the highest utilization rate. Pay the one with the highest utilization rate as aggressively as you can. Once it is at 30%, move on to the next highest interest rate and so on. This will take some time, but remember that any progress you can make towards increasing your credit score will have long-term benefits.

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