How Does Your Credit Score Stack Up?

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There is good news and bad news about the credit scores of Americans. The good news is that the percentage of people (17.9%) with credit scores of 800 or more has increased in recent years. However, the percentage of people (25.5%) whose scores are 599 or below also has been on the rise, according to figures released July 12 by FICO, the company that compiles credit scores.

That means more people are at risk of being turned down for credit cards, mortgages and other loans. Not only does a low credit score affect your ability to get a loan, but also it can hurt your chances of renting an apartment, getting a good insurance rate and even landing a job.

So, do you know your credit score? If you don't, finding this numerical summary of how much you owe and how promptly you pay your bills is easy. See our quick and easy recipe for getting your score .

Understanding your score and improving it can be a little more difficult and time consuming, but the information and advice below can make this simple, too.

Start by ...

1. Learning why your credit score matters

2. Getting information about the new VantageScore

3. Testing your knowledge of what affects your score and how you can improve it by taking our quiz

Then take steps to improve your score by ...

1. Learning how closing credit accounts affects your score

2. Making two key moves to boost your score

3. Finding out how to fix errors on your credit report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Credit and Debt

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