InvestigateTV – Credit scores are critical to your financial success: they impact your ability to borrow money, register for services such as utilities, and can be used by potential employers as a hiring.
Your FICO score, the most commonly used credit score, changes constantly with your credit activity with fluctuations reflecting your buying and spending habits.
FICO ranks scores from mediocre to outstanding
- 580-669 Fair
- 670-739 Good
- 740-799 Very good
- 800+ Outstanding
If you need to improve your score, it could take you a few months, especially if you’re trying to improve it by a hundred points or more.
Virginia Credit Union money coach Cherry Dale has some advice for anyone looking to improve their score.
Pay your bills on time: 35% of your score comes from one-time payments
Don’t borrow too much: Try to use only 30% or less of your available credit lines.
Don’t max out credit cards: A maximum card will reduce your score
Keep your accounts open: The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO score, with accounts older than two years having a more positive impact than more recent accounts.
MyFICO has an online learning center with detailed explanations of scoring, as well as a free score estimator. Most major banks and credit cards also offer free FICO scores with accounts.
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