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hello, im new here because i want to be in a position to obtain a mortgage in a few months. i have one account in collections (for which i have a thread on here asking about pfd) besides that, my credit (for the last 7 years or so) is prettry good. i have four credit cards, only one of which i was ever late on and one loan i took out almost a month ago for about $1200. my credit cards total bal/max is about $1100/$1400. I read different things about what you're supposed to do with credit cards a couple months before you plan to apply for a mortgage. some say pay them all off completely. others say get them all down to around 25%. others still say pay some off completely, but still carry a light balance on the others. I know having them all near max as they are now is no good, i just got a half-way decent job so im going to fix that, i just dont know if im better off actually leaving some balance on them, also i have a "buy it now" account, a revolving credit line advertised by ebay, ($300/$500), is this in the same boat as the credit cards? also this loan i took out, its setup for 10 monthly payments of about $140. should i pay off a little more than that? or should i try to get it completely paid off before i even think about applying for a mortgage? my fico is currently at a 641, i guess not too bad since i got my cards near maxed. unfortunately I dont think that score is recent enough to reflect that loan i took out. (i get one around the 15th of every month) I'm not even sure if this loan is even reported. its from a company called tower loans, they sent me a "pre-approved" slip in the mail, but unlike most "pre-approved" offers, it really was. I called before i went there and asked "no credit check"-->"nope" "no income verification?"--> "nope" and since i didnt have enough to pay my rent which was due about a week afterwards, i gladly accepted it. I'll have to ask when i go to pay on it, whether or not it is reported to the credit bureaus. anyway im just wondering whats the right thing to do with my credit cards and this installment loan before talking to a lender about a mortgage, and sorry to use a thread title thats probally been used about 100 times on here.