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Hi leech8,

How does one figure out how much available CC to cary?
I need to figure out how high of a credit limit (in aggregate) I should maintain. I also want to understand how my credit rating will be impcated.

I would say the criterion I would (and do)use are (in order of importance);
A) What structure is the best economically for me right now,
B) What structure best suits my intended appearance currently, and in the future to any lender I might want to use for opportunistic leverage,
C) What structure supports my credit reports the best (similar to #B)

In these regards, and in the observation of the 3 major credit bureaus, the following are the relative issues to handle;
A) Hold 3-5 (preferrably open) revolving accounts. These can be credit card accounts, Home Equity Lines Of Credit (HELOCs,) or peronal bank lines of credit. (You don't need to necessarily carry a balance in any, just have them open & current.)
B) Have your revolving available balances be as HIGH as you can arrange (again, keeping a balance is not required, however regular usage/activity is beneficial to your scores,)
C) Have 2-4 Installment Accounts. These can be any consumer financing that, once repaid, can't be re-drawn. Examples would be car loans, student loans, furniture/equipment loans, etc. Old, paid-off Installment Accounts are fine, and count toward the 2-4 number as long as they have at least 24 months of history.
D) HISTORY COUNTS! Older open & current accounts hold more weight on your credit than newer accounts... so be cautious of "credit card surfing." 0% interest rates are nice... but keep the older, original accounts in place, with as high of a balance as they'll give you. Run a meal through them from time to time, and pay the balance in full if you can.

Hope that helps!
Dave Donhoff
National Mortgage Broker/Banker
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