Your Credit Score

Your credit score is an important part of your financial future; It's the number banks most often consider when you apply for a loan. But do you know what your credit score is, and how to keep it high? Ray Hennessey, Editor of SmartMoney.com, has some tips.

First, keep in mind that it's very easy to hurt your credit score. "The number one thing is simply missing a payment," says Hennessey. It's important to pay your bills on time, even if money is tight. "It can bring you down, sometimes as much as 75 points in some cases," says Hennessey.

Another credit crasher? Using up all your available credit. Don't max out your credit cards; use them wisely. "Put more on another card... Cut up {the first card} and start paying it down," says Hennessey. If you can pay cards off in full, even better. "If you can pay off debt and not take on new debt, then why not do it?" says Hennessey.

Applying for too much credit - such as having a credit card with each of your favorite stores - can hurt your credit as well. While the perks can be great, applying for too many cards is not a good financial decision. "They seem so simple, but can have such a big impact," says Hennessey.

For more information on credit card debt, as well as other financial information, click here.
By Erin Petrun
  • Erin Petrun

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