#FicoScore: Seven Ways to Improve Your Credit

The higher the number the better.


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Gurl Get Your Credit Right - You’re a grown woman now — and part of that is learning how to be good with your money and get your credit together. Not sure how or where to start? No worries: We got you. By Kellee Terrell(Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Gurl Get Your Credit Right

Photo By Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis

Why Your Credit Matters - Having a good credit score is like having a key to the city — it can open all kinds of doors for you. And not having it can stop you from getting a loan, apartment, a house and even a job in some cases. It’s important for you to start building your credit now!(Photo: Roberto Westbrook/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Why Your Credit Matters

You Need to Know Your Score - Before you can know how to fix your credit, you need to know what you’re working with. So every year, request your free credit score. Tip: Be careful because some sites will say they are free, but then will charge you every month. (Photo: Jamie Grill/Tetra Images/Corbis)

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You Need to Know Your Score

Pay Your Bill on Time Every Month - Ignoring your credit card statements and not paying them on time is one huge way to make your credit score plummet. Same with other debts like your student loans and utilities. Need help paying, send yourself reminders, mark it on your calendar or set up payments online so you never miss that due date. (Photo: Jason Homa/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Pay Your Bill on Time Every Month

Pay More Than Just the Minimum Payment - If you only pay the min, it’s going to take you forever to pay off and cost you more money because of interest. Also, it means you are carrying a higher balance of debt, which isn’t good for your credit. You want to pay off as much as you can, keeping your balance low, preferably 30 percent of your available credit line. (Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Pay More Than Just the Minimum Payment

You Gotta Use Your Cards - Creditors want to see that you are responsible with your cards, not charging a lot, and paying it off in a timely manner. As opposed to binging and then spending years paying it off. So one way to get started: Use your credit cards each month for things like groceries, and then try to pay it off at the end of the month. (Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

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You Gotta Use Your Cards

But... Don’t Lose Your Mind - Having a credit card can be tempting, because you think you may have all of this extra “free” money, but remember it’s not ever free. At the end of the day, you have to pay for it, so be wise with how you use your plastic. It’s not OK to buy that fancy coat or meal if you know you really can’t afford it. (Photo: Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Corbis)

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But... Don’t Lose Your Mind


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If You Owe a Lot, Start Paying Them Down

Don’t Obsess Over It - Don’t beat yourself up for having debt or let it take over your life. Yes, you may have made mistakes, but it’s OK. Any negative marks on your report will be gone in seven years. And remember: You are not the only person in debt. Turn this financial misstep into a learning lesson. You got this!(Photo: David A Land/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Don’t Obsess Over It