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When you become an adult, some of your priorities change. Partying becomes less important, and your overall well-being moves to the front of your mind. You find that your body appreciates an early bedtime and daily routine, and that the daily grind is a very real thing. You may even find that making money and having a career can quickly consume your life. And let’s be honest here, without money, traveling, going on vacations – even going out to eat – is a lot more difficult. You don’t want to start your life on the wrong foot.
So today I’m going to talk about your credit (FICO) score and why it’s so important. Nowadays, your credit score can affect every aspect of your life. If you have little or bad credit, you’re going to struggle with approval for a credit card, buying a home or vehicle, and even finding work. It’s going to cost you, literally. That is why it’s so important for you to understand and monitor your credit score and report.
What is a Credit Score?
For lenders, a credit score is a number that tries to encapsulate how you manage your finances. It’s based on several factors, such as the amount of debt you have, your credit history, and your payment history. It actually gives them a pretty good idea of who you are as a person because financial affairs tend to correlate with personality. It can give them a generalization about your character, your spending habits, and your age.
A credit score typically ranges between 300-850. The lower the number, the worse you look. That is why it’s so important to have a credit score that stands above 700. Of course, you want higher than that, but 700 is a solid place to start. Anything below 700 makes you look like a risky player in the financial game. People aren’t going to want to place their bets on you with a low score.
How Can I Find My Credit Score
There are a lot of websites out there offering “free credit scores,” but I recommend Mint.com or CreditKarma.com. Both are excellent sites that I use to help track my credit and manage my finances. Note: I am not advertising for them. I sincerely love their sites. Both offer free, updated credit scores throughout the year. You’ll have to set up an account at each place, but it’s free, so don’t let that stop you. It’s free information that you need to know.
I’ve Checked my Credit Score… and it Sucks.
Once you have checked your score, you may be surprised by your findings. If you were a person who never had to think about credit, you may be unhappy with your number. Maybe you were fortunate and started thinking about your credit early on and started building it up when you were young. Either way, there’s always hope for the future. There are a lot of things you can do to increase your credit score.
What Do I Do Now?
Taking that first step to find and understand your score is important. Now that you are informed, you can begin to improve your credit score through simple measures.
If you want to begin improving your credit score, find out what’s bringing it down and learn how to fix it.
Any questions? Throw em’ at me!