Most everyone understands the importance of having a good credit score. The better your score the better access you are likely to have to getting the funds you need at interest rates you can handle.
What is a good score? According to NerdWallet.com, you rate as having an excellent score if it ranges between 720 and 850. If your score is between 690-719, that's considered good. Average is 630-689. Anything below 630 is considered bad.
Now that you have this foundational information, the next thing that may be important for you to know is exactly what you can do to affect that score.
As we explained in one recent article, some myths about credit can harm you financially. Included among them are the notions that it's bad to have too much credit at your disposal, that carrying balances on cards is good, and that relying on credit repair agencies is the way to improve your situation.
One concept that is not a myth is that being late paying bills can drag your credit score down. That's true. But that does not necessarily mean all bills are created equal. So the question is, what bills should get priority to deliver the greatest boost to your score? The answer is the ones for which payments regularly get reported to the credit bureaus.
And which are those? According to ConsumerAffairs.com, one is your mortgage if you have one. Up until recently, rent payments weren't generally reported and so didn't affect your rating. But the article says that's beginning to change.
What may be surprising to Tennessee readers is that payments you make for cable, utilities and cellphone contracts aren't regularly reported to the credit bureaus. That can change if you stop paying the bills and the balances go to a collection agency, however.
Obviously, the best way to build your credit score is to make all your payments when they are due. Tracking your credit reports annually and correcting errors if they appear helps, too.
If your score is already in trouble and you don't see any way open to make repairs, bankruptcy may be a viable means for obtaining debt relief. The best way to know if that's the case is to contact an experienced attorney to explore all your options.