I have come to this community to find some support in lowering my debt. A brief history: I was a married, stay at home mom for 15 yrs. Obviously, no work history etc. I was lucky enough to come out of the divorce with a house (our investment/rental property at the time) and 500 dollars a month maintenance. No child support as we have joint custody.
Along the way, I moved in with my now fiance. He came from a large city and a job that paid far more then he was able to get here in smalltown Wis, and eventually filed for bankruptcy to pay off his old c.c debts. But at the same time, we were both looking for jobs and it took him 6-7 months to find one, while it took me over 2 yrs.
In the beginning, we used my c.c to live. I moved into my house with nothing, no fridge, furniture, washer/dryer etc. So I ended up with about 12,000 dollars c.c. debt just on living.
Nowadays, we both have very good jobs for around here, and hope to buy a bigger house this coming year. This is where my questions come in. Right now, my debt to income is screwed on paper, and my credit score is in the 600's. Which is more important? And what is the best way to achieve it? I've been using the maintenance money to make payments on whatever card I can, but there's some differing opinions as to whether it's better to pay off the smallest first, or the highest interest first. As of this point, I've been able to pay off 1,200 dollars of that c.c debt. We don't spend frivolously (rarely go out to eat, shop clearance when needed, etc) and have our goal in mind.
So there are my questions. Debt to income, or credit score? And smallest balance, or highest interest?? And on top of that..if you have MANY charge cards, is it better to close the accounts once paid off or keep them all open? Thank you!