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<<The problem is the roof has already been patched twice in other spots. I fear that waiting another season will just compound the problem.

<<But one thing that the few lenders I asked mentioned was that we have 90% utilization of our credit, which they said is 35% of my credit score. I can't kill that unless I tap the IRA. We haven't used the cards in almost a year, except for two small subscriptions that I forgot about and subsequently canceled.

I will explain my bias regarding retirement and investment accounts. It's my bias, and of course there is no reason you need agree with it.

That bias is --- once in, never out. Investments and retirement accounts are for long term wealth building, not patching short term problems. Use investment accounts to fix short term problems and soon you wont have any investments and no prospects for retirement or long term wealth.

If the roof leaks and you can't presently afford to replace it without using investment/retirement funds, then investigate the problem and patch the leak until you can afford to replace the roof. You might get good enough at the task to get several more years of life out of your roof.

If you and your credit card companies think your credit utililization is too high, pay it down out of current income.

Too tough? A little suffering can be good for the soul, in my experience.

Seattle Pioneer
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