At the heart of your question is the debt utilization rate, part of what makes up a credit score. The FICO credit score, the most widely used scoring model, has five components in the following order of importance: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and mix of credit.
The amounts-owed category contributes 30 percent to your overall credit score and factors in the overall amount owed, the amounts owed on each account, number of accounts with a balance, percentage of credit limits used, percentage still owed on installment loans and, in some cases, the lack of certain types of balances.
What we're dealing with is the percentage of credit lines used, also known as the utilization rate. The scoring model looks at how much of the available credit you use on revolving loans such as credit cards -- for each account and in total. The lower the percentage of all of these, the better your credit score will be.
For example, in your case, if you owe $2,000 on a credit card with a $30,000 credit limit, then your utilization rate is 6.67 percent, that is the balance divided by limit. For all three cards combined, which is $75,000 in available credit, the utilization rate is 2.67 percent, or the balance divided by total available credit. This is excellent.
Most personal finance experts recommend keeping your utilization rate for each account, and across all your accounts, less than 10 percent. So, you're doing well just the way you are.
Here's an interesting tidbit, compliments of John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com. A 1 percent utilization rate is slightly better for your credit score than a zero percent utilization rate. On the opposite end, a 100 percent rate is slightly worse than a 101 percent utilization rate. Go figure.
But here's one thing to keep in mind. Issuers will close inactive credit card accounts. So, make sure to charge a little something -- gas or groceries -- on each of your three cards at least once a quarter to keep the account active. A closed account, whether you initiate it or your issuer does, can hurt your credit score because it lowers your overall available credit.
Oh, and make sure to pay off your balances entirely every month. It doesn't do beans for your credit score, but it's a smart financial habit and saves you on interest. Otherwise, keep up the good work.
Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.
Ask the adviser
To ask a question of the Credit Card Adviser, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select "Credit Cards." Read more columns by the Credit Card Adviser. Follow Janna Herron on Twitter.