Thursday, November 6, 2003
More Bang for Your Buck: Credit Score
Tonight, we're going to let you in on something many people don't know about. It's something that can prevent you from purchasing some much needed items. It's called a credit score -- and a bad one could leave you with a credit crisis.
(WSVN) -- Nobody could ever say Jody Kennell's had an easy life.
After her mom passed away, Jody paid her way through college.
She survived by relying on credit cards.
"Sometimes books, sometimes FPL," she says. "Things like that, I'd put on my credit cards and then eventually they just got too high for me to pay."
Jody never even considered her credit score until she was denied a cell phone.
"I was upset because I used to have really good credit," she says.
And Jody can still get good credit, if she works on it.
Joe Zunzunegui of Consumer Credit Counseling Service says, "Well, the first thing is to definitely make all your payments on time."
At the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, consultants work with clients to improve their credit score. The goal: Get your score above 700.
"If you're above 700 then you'll get the best rates out there," says Joe.
But how do you get to 700?
Begin by keeping your credit card balances low.
Pay off all debts as quickly as possible.
Don't open multiple accounts at the same time.
And don't own more than five credit cards.
Joe says, "And the better accounts to have are the older accounts because they establish a payment pattern."
Jody is working hard to establish a new payment pattern in her life.
"I definitely have seen an improvement," she says.
Thanks to some encouragement from her fiancÚ, she's working hard to buy a new car and a new cell phone.
"We just started paying them one by one," she says. "You know? Little here, little there."
Of course, you should always check your credit report for accuracy.
And your score won't be affected if you order it directly from the credit reporting agency.
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