Pay off credit card debt to better financial standing

Dear Rick:

I was in my 20’s and really had no interest in my finances. I have an IRA, some money in the bank and I own my house. My house is worth about $250,000 and I have a $230,000 mortgage at four percent. I also have over $13,000 in credit card debt. The average interest rate on credit cards is 20½ percent.

My grandparents are planning to give me $15,000, and they told me they want me to use this money to improve my financial situation. My grandfather is a big fan of you and he showed me several columns and I hope you can help me with what to do with the money. I’ve narrowed it down to three main options:


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