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How to raise your credit score

Transcript: A good credit score can help you get a better interest rate on your home loan.

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A good credit score can help you get a better interest rate on your home loan.

Generally, any history of non-payment or late payments on any loans or debt may lower your credit score and increase your interest rate and costs.

Credit scores range from 300 to 850, the higher the better. Raising your credit score isn't easy. It takes time, and there is no quick fix.

Here are some suggestions for how you can begin to better manage your credit score.

Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on your score. Even when you pay off a collection account, it stays on your report for years. So if you have missed payments, get current and stay current.

The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score. Keep your balances low. Keeping credit card balances below 30 percent of your credit limits is a reasonable goal, even if you pay off your accounts in full each month. Pay off debt rather than move it around. The most effective way to improve your score is to pay down your revolving credit.

Your credit score affects your borrowing options, so it's important to know what your credit score is and understand the variables that affect it. It's a good idea to keep track of your credit history and monitor it regularly, especially before you start the loan application process. You can request a free credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus annually at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.