In today’s world of high finance, managing your credit is a key to financial success. The first step is to know your FICO score and how it is impacted by your credit activities. The better your FICO score, the more attractive you are not only to lenders but employers, and insurance companies. When you purchase auto insurance, your credit plays a part in determining your final premium. Additionally, employers include credit evaluations in making decisions to hire employees.

A credit score can range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. A score of 720 or higher is considered a good score. Anything below 600 is considered poor. Activities that influence your score are payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, new credit and type of credit owed.

To improve you credit score it will be important to check your credit report. You can request a free copy of your report by visiting website and FICO score from It is imperative you review the report in detail to make sure it is accurate and does not have errors that can bring your score down. 

Next, pay your bills on time. Using your bank’s online banking portal can allow you to set up automatic payments. These portals will also provide you with email reminders to pay your bills. Additionally, reduce the amount of debt you owe and focus on debt that has the highest interest rates first. These high rates cost you more in interest.

Be careful of companies that claim that they can repair your credit. These companies can do nothing different than you taking charge and improving your credit with the suggestions outlined above. Warning signs that a company may not be legitimate: 1) Requiring you to make significant upfront payments before they repair your credit; and 2) The company promises to remove late payments, bankruptcies or similar information from your report and the company will not provide you with their business address. 


Bryant K. Jenkins

Special to the AFRO