Most people don't realize that credit balances really do negatively influence credit scores. However the effect is not retained in memory in that if you pay off the balance the credit scores will resume back to higher levels immediately. Credit scores are affected exponentially when the balance is 30% then 50% then 90% then 100% of the credit limit on the credit card. So to keep your credit scores as optimal, maintain the balance to at or below 30% of the credit limit.
Consumer debt in general (which includes auto loans) has reached very high historical levels indicating that the U.S. Consumer is approaching "tapped out" levels of debt.
Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102977415
If you have debt that is long term in nature and is not a mortgage, consolidating them in a refinance can be helpful with mortgage rates so low as they are today. If you need advice on improving your credit scores I give it out free of charge by calling (408-957-8900) or emailing me (email@example.com). I've improved many of my clients credit scores. It just takes a little time and effort.