The Short Answer

7 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Karen Wallace

Simply put, having a high credit score saves you money. Consider a mortgage loan: If you have excellent credit, you may be able to secure a mortgage loan that is as much as 1.5 percentage points lower than someone with marginal credit. That could save you hundreds of dollars every month--thousands every year. 

There are five primary factors that determine your FICO score: a 35% weighting is given to payment history, 30% to the amount you owe, 15% length of history, 10% new credit, and 10% types of credit use. You can spruce up your credit score by improving on any of these factors. Here are some ideas.