credit

Steps to improve your credit score

 

 

You may think that sports scores are the only ones you need to track, but there are more important scores, like your credit score. So maybe, you should spend a little time raising it. Bankrate.com has three quick tips.

While watching sports can be a great way to pass the time, in the great scheme of things, these scores aren't that important. Especially when you compare them to this one: your credit score. If you plan on borrowing money any time soon, start now to raise that score. But how? Step one is to check your credit report. It's ultimately where your score comes from. You can get a free copy once a year at annualcreditreport.com. Make sure you check it for errors.

Step two: timing. As application month approaches, give your plastic a rest, even if you pay off your bills every month, because if your balance happens to be reported while it's big, that could temporarily lower your score.

Step three: Don't close old accounts. Your credit score is partially based on the amount of money you've borrowed relative to what you could borrow. So untapped credit is good, but don't apply for new credit, either. That could also lower your score.

Of course, the key to a high score is to pay your bills on time and to understand how the game is played. Want to know more? Talk to a credit counselor, or go online, including right here at Bankrate.com. I'm Kristin Arnold.

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