I graduated college in May and have been working full time since. I have $19,000 in student loan debt, all subsidized/no interest yet, that goes into repayment soon. I am also getting married next year, and buying a first home is on the near horizon. I have four gov loan groups, two credit cards and an overdraft line. Oldest accounts are five years, no late payments, almost always paid in full, high max with usage no higher than 7%. Mint credit score is 760.
Now, I have the money to pay off all the student loans immediately and avoid any interest. I am intending to leave about $5,000 on the group with the lowest rate for a year or so, just to have an extra cushion of cash if needed for the wedding/home purchase. This is not the oldest loan. I will still have money next year for a substantial down payment.
My question is, what is the best way to protect and boost my credit score through the process, to keep it as high as possible for a mortgage application within a year or two? Is it a good idea to pay off all the loans immediately, or will those accounts closing cause a ding to the score. Should I leave a small balance on all and start making payments to gain that history?
Thanks in advance for the help!