If you’re a credit newbie, the 30 percent credit rule is a great reference to keep your credit score in check. The basic rule of thumb – keep your credit card balances, relative to your available credit, below 30 percent to maintain a good or excellent credit score.

Bring in the skittles!

Let’s say you have one credit card with a $2,000 limit, another card with a $3,000 limit and a third card with a $5,000 limit. You run up a balance on the first card of $1,000, the second card with a $1,000 balance as well and the third card you pay down in full. You’re using $2,000 of your $10,000 of total credit, which puts you at 20 percent. You’re all set!

Say you pay your first two cards in full but leave a big balance of $4,000 on your last card. Even though it’s good to pay off two cards, you still end up at 40 percent credit utilization. You pay your third card down by at least $1,000 to reach that 30 percent threshold.

If it’s under 3-0, you’re a credit hero!

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