Jun 12, 2024

Question of the Day: Is it better to pay off a credit card balance over time or all at once?

Let's dispel a common myth about credit card balances and credit scores.

Answer: All at once

A hand holding four different credit cards.


  • Why might some people believe that carrying a balance is beneficial to their credit score?
  • What are the potential costs associated with carrying a balance on your credit card from month to month?
  • How does carrying a balance on your credit card affect your credit score?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of using a credit card responsibly?


Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (CFPB):

"Companies use several factors to calculate your credit scores. One factor they look at is how much credit you are using compared to how much you have available. In the case of a credit card, they look at the balance you owe compared to your available credit.

Consistently paying off your credit card on time every month is one step toward improving your credit scores. However, credit scores are calculated at different times, so if your score is calculated on a day you have a high balance, this could affect your score even if you pay off the balance in full the next day."



NGPF's Managing Credit unit has tons of resources to help get your students ready for responsible credit use!


Attend NGPF Professional Developments and earn Academy Credits on your own time! Check out NGPF On-Demand modules!

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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