(Jessica) Welcome to Money Matters on the Southern Bank Financial Wellness Network. I'm Jessica.

(John) And I'm John!

(Jessica) And today, we're talking about whether or not it's a good idea to pay off your credit card debt slowly or as soon as possible.

(John) Yes, and essentially, the idea that carrying a balance and paying it off over time will boost your credit score is a myth. High balance translates to high utilization, which can have the opposite effect on your score.

(Jessica) Credit utilization and payment history are two of the biggest factors toward a credit score, which is why it's a good idea to keep utilization low, make payments on time, and, ideally, pay more than the minimums every month.

(John) The faster you can pay off your debts, the better your credit score will be, the less interest you'll have to pay, and, hopefully, the better your financial stress will be. There are many strategies available to help pay off debt, and while it can feel overwhelming, don't get discouraged. Be patient, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

(Jessica) We'll see you next time on Monday Matters. And remember, Financial Wellness starts here!

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