The One Number That Can Make or Break You

Can you name the one three digit number that can make or break you financially? 

That’s right, it’s your credit score.

It’s hard to believe, but if your credit score is low, it can keep you from getting the credit that you need – things like buying a car or a home, renting an apartment, and even getting a good job.

Do you know your credit score?

Unbelievably, there are literally millions of people who have no idea what their credit score is, never realizing that they need to look at it until they walk into that car dealership, or fill out that loan application… until they’re turned down for something because of their credit score!

Now, why do you suppose that is?  Is it because they’re too busy to worry about it, too lazy to take the time to look at it, or simply because they don’t understand the credit scoring system and how important it can be to their financial future?

Personally, I fell into the category of not wanting to know… when I was younger, I wasn’t nearly so careful with my money as I am now, and as a result, I had a few late payments, got in over my head with credit cards, and even had a judgement against me in another state.  It wasn’t until I realized that I couldn’t drive my beat up old clunker forever that I started checking my credit score, and looking into ways to improve it.  But when I did…well, within a year I had a brand new car at a great interest rate, and within three years, I was able to buy my first house, something that I never believed I would ever be able to do given my past credit history.

What can you do?

Well, for starters, you can find out your credit score.  These days, there are plenty of places to get that score for free, and for the most part, if you just want to see your credit score, any one of those sites will work.

However, if you want to know what those scores mean, understand what you need to do to improve them, and keep an eye on them once you have improved them, then I definitely recommend paying for unlimited access to your credit files.  Unlike those “free” places, if you’re paying for access, you’ll have a lot more resources at your fingertips than just seeing your credit score – and, believe me, it’s worth it.

But first, start with checking your score!