In a very general sense, Amounts owed refers to how much debt you carry in total. However, the amount of debt you have is not as significant to your credit score as your credit utilization. When a high percentage of a person's available credit is been used, this can indicate that a person is overextended, and is more likely to make late or missed payments.
FICO research has found that your level of debt is predictive of future credit performance because the amount owed typically impacts your ability to pay all monthly credit obligations on time. Not to worry if you have debt — it doesn't automatically make you a high-risk borrower. However, as your balances increase so does the probability of difficulty meeting monthly payments on time, but that's just part of what determines your credit score.
Part of the science of scoring is determining how much is too much for a given credit profile. Your FICO Scores take into account several factors.
Note that even if you pay off your credit cards in full each month, your credit report may show a balance on those cards. The total balance on your last statement is generally the amount that will show in your credit report.
In addition to the overall amount you owe, your FICO Scores consider the amount you owe on specific types of accounts, such as credit cards vs. installment loans.
A larger number of accounts with amounts owed can indicate higher risk of over-extension.
Your credit utilization ratio on revolving accounts-the percentage of your available credit you're using-is an important factor in your FICO Scores. Using a high percentage of your available credit means you're close to maxing out your credit cards, which can have a negative impact on your FICO Scores.
On the other hand, using a low percentage of your available credit can have a positive impact. In some cases, a low credit utilization ratio will have a more positive impact on your FICO Scores than not using any of your available credit at all.
It's also important to note that your current account balance isn't necessarily the balance that shows up on your credit report. Your account balance on your credit report will reflect the account balance your lender reported to the credit bureau (typically the balance from your latest monthly statement). So even if you pay your credit card balances in full each month, your account balance won't necessarily show on your credit report as $0.
For example, if you borrowed $10,000 to buy a car and you have paid back $2,000, you still owe (with interest) more than 80% of the original loan. Paying down installment loans is a good sign that you're able and willing to manage and repay debt.
The amounts of debt that you owe is an important part of your credit and makes up 30% of your FICO Score. Keep track of your debt and credit utilization.