"Should we pay off our credit cards before saving for a down payment? Or is there a point where it makes sense to make the minimum payments on our cards and bank the rest for a down payment?" Credit cards play a complicated role in preparation for a home purchase. On the positive side, a history of timely payments on credit cards builds a positive credit history and a correspondingly high credit score. That's an important plus when you enter the home loan market. On the other hand, if there are any indications of financial stress in your credit-card history, it will reduce your credit score, even though you may be making all payments on time. Indications of stress include new card issuances and high utilization ratios -- these are the ratios of balances to maximum balances. As you plan ahe...
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