You may think that a debt is a debt, but different kinds of loans and other debts have their own payment plans, tax implications and impacts on your credit scores. Ideally, you’d want to have several types of debt on your credit reports because this shows lenders you are able to balance your finances. A diverse credit history can also help your credit scores.

One of the factors used to calculate your scores is your credit utilization rate. This refers to the amount of money you owe in relation to the total amount of credit available to you. For example, if you have a credit card with a limit of $5,000 and you currently owe $1,000, your credit utilization rate on that card would be 20 percent. Most creditors want to see a credit utilization rate of 30 percent or less across your total revolving accounts.

So what makes credit card debt different from medical bills, a mortgage or a student loan? Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common types of debt, as well as how they may affect your finances:

Credit Card Debt


Auto Loans

Student Loans

Medical Debt

Regardless of the types or the amount of debt you carry, the most important thing is to keep up with your payments each month. That way, you can steer clear of debt collectors and avoid negatively affecting your credit scores.