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The most surprising mistake people make when building their credit scores

Americans like using debit cards, but many don’t understand what their plastic can and can’t do.

Nearly one-quarter of consumers believe activity on their debit card impacts their credit score, when in reality, it has no effect. That’s according to a survey of 2,000 consumers this week from the personal-finance company NerdWallet. For those trying to build or improve their credit, a credit card is often a better choice, provided consumers can pay their bills in full on time, said Kimberly Palmer, a credit card expert at NerdWallet.

Debit cards are typically not considered a form of credit — with the exception of prepaid credit cards that function similarly to debit cards, but are specifically used for that purpose.

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