Your credit score is an all-powerful number, capable of determining whether you get that new loan, car, or apartment. Banks use your credit score to determine your credit risk—the higher the score, the lower the risk and the more appealing you look on paper, which can give you better interest rates on loans. Even job applicants can have their credit scores pulled by employers, as a means of determining if they’ll be a risky hire for the company.
And now it is arguably more important to have a great credit score, since banks have been forced to write off record levels of credit card debt and are requiring borrowers to have higher credit scores. “Because of the recession, a lot of issuers are closely scrutinizing your credit score,” says Bill Hardekopf, a credit expert from LowCards.com. Now, a FICO score in the mid- to high-700s is considered a great credit score, according to Hardekopf.
To land yourself in that credit-friendly range, consider these six surprising ways to boost your credit score:
Story by Daniel Boortz for US News and World Report