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Are you credit crazy?

By Kemberley Washington · Bankrate.com
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted: 9 am ET

Is your credit up-to-par?  If not, it is time to face the music. Having a good credit score is essential throughout your financial journey. From lower interest rates to a reduction in late payment fees, a good credit score can save you money and carry you a long way.

So don't let yourself remain "credit crazy." Here are some tips to get your credit in order.

Clean your own credit. There are many people who will offer to "clean your credit." While some of these services may be legitimate, be careful. No one can clean your credit better than you.

Take a moment to obtain a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com and review your report for inaccuracies. Dispute any transaction you believe is inaccurate or simply not your responsibility.

Pay your bills according to your paycheck. Consider paying your bills each time you receive a paycheck. Hey, what else are you waiting for?

Let's say you get paid on the first day and the 15th day of the month. Make a list of bills due from first day of the month to the 14th day. Then, pay these bills with your first paycheck of the month.

Next, make a listing of bills due from the 15th day to the end of the month. Use your following check to pay those bills. Not only will it help keep your bill payments timely, but it will help you avoid late fees for forgetting to pay on time.

Don't dig a bigger ditch. Building a better credit score requires a commitment to stay away from obtaining new debt. It doesn't make sense to get your debt and credit under control while adding more debt to your load.

Your poor credit score didn't happen overnight. Reversing the situation will not happen in a day, either. Take time and stay committed. Things can and will turn around.

Remember: your choice, your future!

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and business professor. She writes a personal finance blog at Kemberley.com. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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