Maybe you've heard this a hundred times. Carrying a balance on your credit card meaning, you actively use it and don't pay it off in full helps your credit score.

I myself was told to get a credit card and only charge a small amount and pay it off at the end of each month to raise my credit score.  Now I am not so sure that is the way to go.

An article in USA Today has it that more than 1 in 5 credit-card users, or 43 million Americans, carry a balance or pay the minimum to credit-card companies, that make you always owing them money to help improve their credit scores, according to a new report from

But according to a survey, over 20% of people with credit cards still don't know it

A new survey by found 1 in 5 people with credit cards THINK it does.  That's about 43 million Americans.  Here is the kicker on this, using your cards and owing money on them doesn't actually help at all.

It only hurts your credit rating.

The confusion might come from the fact that having open accounts helps your credit score.  Meaning it's higher if you have three credit cards instead of just one.

But using them and carrying a balance doesn't help at all.  In fact, you're better off not using them, because owing too much can make your credit score drop.  Once you exceed about 30% of your credit limit, your score starts to go down.

So don't use your cards just because you think you need to in order to boost your score.  You'd actually be better off keeping your accounts open, but cutting your cards up and never using them.