My husband and I are currently working at lowering our credit utilization in order to qualify for a house (possibly looking at FHA or USDA HUD loan with 0-3% down). It is slow progress! A family member has offered to give us 5k towards the closing costs/down payment. We would like to get into a house before winter! While we realize this might not be possible, I am still looking at all options. It turns out in order to reduce our credit card debt by half, we would need to pay off almost EXACTLY 5k. Would it be wiser for us to ask for the $ now and pay down all of our credit cards to ½ of their balances pretty much immediately? Or is it better to pay off this debt slowly? Will rapidly reducing our credit utilization increase our credit scores? Thank you! (Posted in ‘Bouncing Back Credit’ forum as well).