Americans are on a credit card binge. Thanks to the highest inflation rates in decades, the ranks of credit card holders carrying debt from month to month have grown to 46%, up from 39% a year ago while credit card balances jumped some 15%. But before jumping on the credit bandwagon, don't forget that credit scores don't care about inflation desperation. There are plenty of myths about what can damage your credit score, so let's get back to basics: What behaviors can have the biggest effect on that all-important number? Some, like declaring bankruptcy, are obvious. Others may not be. For instance, a large majority of people still believe carrying a balance will improve their credit score — but that's a big nope. Here's a refresher on 16 things to avoid if you want to keep your credit pristine.
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