Does carrying a credit-card balance help a credit score?

About 43 million Americans wrongly believe that carrying a balance on their credit cards will help improve their credit scores, a report released Monday shows.

The report by found that 22 percent of U.S. consumers made this mistake, which forces cardholders to pay more in interest, often at high rates.

“It’s painful to know that so many millions of Americans are essentially attempting to pay their card issuers to improve their credit scores,” said senior industry analyst, Matt Schulz in a news release about the study. “The fact of the matter is that carrying a balance will never improve your credit. With interest rates at an all-time high, cardholders should aim to pay off their bills in full every month and, more importantly, pay on time.”

Millennials (ages 18-37) were the group most likely to do this at 28 percent, followed by Generation X members (ages 38-53) at 25 percent. About 16 percent of baby boomers and the elderly fell victim to this practice, the report said.

The report also found that 42 percent of people admitted to paying late, often because they forgot or were traveling. Still, 35 percent said they were late because they didn’t have the money to pay the bill.

The online study was done by GfK Custom Research North America. The sample consists of 1,000 completed interviews, with a margin of error of 3 percent.


© 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Mark Skoneki. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.