Credit Myth-Busting: Credit Card Usage Percentage


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Your credit card usage percentage is NOT the amount of debt you owe.

Usage is a percentage based on the amount of credit you have used compared to the amount available. It is not based on the amount of debt you owe.

Two people with the same job, age, gender, etc., can have the same amount of debt, but their credit scores can be completely different.

How does it work?

How Credit Card Usage Percentage Works

Let’s take these two similar people and break down their credit:

  • They both owe $1,000 on credit cards
  • Person A has a credit limit of $1,200
  • Person B has a credit limit of $5,000

It doesn’t matter that they owe the same amount. What matters is that what they owe in relation to their limit.


  • Person A has a credit usage of 83.33% ($1,000 owe/$1,200 limit)
  • Person B has a credit usage of 20% ($1,000 owe/$5,000 limit)

They owe the same amount, but Person A’s usage of 83.33% will negatively impact their score. Meanwhile, Person B’s 20% credit usage percentage will positively impact their score.

How to Avoid the Risks of a High Credit Usage Percentage

So if you can only use 20% of your credit limit before hurting your score… What’s the point of having a credit card at all?

As a real estate investor, the best way to help your score is move your credit card debt to a business card.

The second helpful step is to call your credit card company and ask them to raise your limits. This one trick will automatically raise your score (and lower your usage percentage!).

Other Credit Tips

Check out these other tips to quickly raise your credit score on our YouTube channel.

Send us an email anytime with questions about your credit and real estate investing loans at