when reviewing a potential borrower whether for a home or other consumer loan.
With consumer borrowing in the U.S. rising in March to the fastest pace since November 2001, it is poised to become even bigger. And with banks increasing their scrutiny of applications for mortgages and other loans, a strong credit score is critical. Many people do not realize how important it is to use far, far less than the total amount of credit available on your cards. How much of that credit you use and your bill-paying behavior add up to the most significant factor in your credit score. The rule of thumb says you can tap 20 to 25 percent of available credit before you risk hurting your credit score. However, Experian found that millennials use an average of 43 percent of available credit, while Gen Xers (35 to 49) use an average of 41 percent.