When it comes to assessing your financial fitness, your credit score is one of the single most important numbers you have, right up there with your bank account. Your credit score is a number between 300-850 that gives lenders a quick glimpse into how responsible you’ve been in your financial life.
Your credit score is determined by looking at:
- Your payment history;
- How much credit you have (and how much of it you use);
- What kinds of credit you have,
- How long you’ve been using credit and
- How much new credit you’re applying for.
All of this data is aggregated by three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and is used to dictate whether you can get a car loan, mortgage, credit card or apartment to rent.
While few have a perfect 850 credit score (and you don’t really need one anyway), aiming for a credit score above 700 or so is a wise move to make sure you can borrow money (and do so without paying a fortune in interest).
So, if your credit score isn’t there yet or if you want to aim for a higher number for the best possible rates, here are six tips to get you started.