How Debt Affects Your Credit Score

Alayna Okerlund

Last Updated: February 24th, 2020

U.S. Credit Card Debt Infographic

Debt, especially credit card-related debt, continues to plague most Americans, threatening to lower their credit scores. Credit scores, often known as FICO scores, are broken down into five factors. Payment history makes up 35 percent of the overall score, amounts owed makes up 30 percent, length of credit history determines 15 percent, credit mix averages 10 percent, and new credit makes up the remaining 10 percent of the score. Because amounts owed covers 30 percent of the overall score, credit card debt can seriously lower the overall score.

It is important to maintain little to no credit card debt if you want the benefits to show on your credit score. Keeping your credit report clean is another way to make sure your credit score doesn't take a negative plunge. If your credit score is lower than you'd like it to be, there are many companies and services that can help you repair it. Online resources like can help you find the right company to repair your credit.


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