On time payments (or the lack of them) is the main determinant of scores. If you have 13 loans and pay one of them late repeatedly, your score will suffer greatly. If you have 3 credit cards and like to pay one of them late every month, but a different one, your scores will suffer.
In order, the biggest problems are bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu, judgments, charge-offs, collections, late payments, and balance to limit. Paying off a credit line will work on raising that portion of your score related to credit utilization, but it is usually the smallest contributor to score for people with low scores. Their problems are usually charge-offs and collection and then lates.
You might want to take the on-line credit repair course from Henley http://sumnerrealty.com/content/article.html/2711606/creditreports
New York Times/Your Money
Credit.com offers some advice that may be specifically helpful to you. I also added my collection of links with tips on getting your financial ship in shape. If all of your student loans are with the same lender, you might have an easier time of it.
Student Loan Consolidation Tips
8 Steps to Get Your Financial Life in Order
10 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Credit Score
Credit Score: Should You Check Yours Before Getting a Mortgage?
Is Repairing Your Own Credit Worth It?
Best of luck.
Have them advise you.
My guess is it is NOT best to consolidate. Better to probably pay off as many of the 13 as you can. Keep current on everything. Don't close any. Any with balances higher than 50% of the total limit, pay down below that. Also if there are any small charge offs, you may want to pay those.
This is very very very general info....get you loan officer to pull your current report and advise you.
You definitely need to get your credit score up to get a loan and the higher your score typically the better your interest rate.
Happy to assist professional fees do apply for review
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
Read the Free E-Book about credit in the link above and then call me.
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