How credit card debt impacts your credit score

Almost all of us have had some credit card debt at one point or another.

But too much can really hurt your credit score, and that can do all kinds of damage.

Credit card debt is going up. About 14 million Americans owe more than $10,000 on their cards

but knowing your credit utilization can keep you from hurting your credit rating.

What's credit utilization? It's how much money you owe on all your credit cards compared to the total amount you're allowed to borrow.

Add up all the money you're allowed to borrow on each card, let's say that adds up to $10,000, to not hurt your credit score,

borrow less than 30 percent, or in this example less than $3,000.

While it's always best to pay off your credit cards each month to have a zero balance, that's really hard to do.

Instead, at least make sure you keep your overall borrowing below 30 percent.