How to Build, Maintain, and Fix Your Credit Score


How to Build, Maintain, and Fix Your Credit Score


Credit is one of those things that makes trying to figure out adulthood harder. Many adults have a difficult time figuring out what credit scores and reports mean, but it’s important to prepare young adults for this aspect of their financial wellbeing. Understanding your credit score can significantly impact your financial success.


A credit score is the result of a mathematical equation based on the record of monthly expenses that make up a credit report. There are three main credit bureaus to which your personal financial data can be reported—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—that then create a report and calculate a score. A good credit score is one factor lenders consider when extending credit, can decrease the interest rate on a loan offered, and can lessen obstacles to extensions of credit and renting. Payment history, credit history length, and new credit accounts are some of the things that can affect your score.


It’s important to impress upon new adults the impact their credit score can have. Building good credit starts with paying attention. It is recommended to check credit reports every four months to see any places for improvement, and to also set goals for financial ambitions. Visit for information on ordering your free annual credit report.

One of the most common ways to build credit as an adult is through a credit card or secured credit card. Secured credit cards are backed by a cash deposit, unlike traditional credit cards. It is recommended a cardholder use 30% or less of the available credit to keep credit utilization low. Finally, credit counselors can also help find the best way to build a credit score.

Some ways parents could begin helping their adult children gain good credit is by adding them as an authorized user on a credit card, putting them on a credit builder loan, getting them a secured credit card, ordering their credit report, or just teaching them smart money habits.

The key is to be patient. Building credit takes time, effort, and smart fiscal habits.


Maintaining good credit can be done with the help of with a little know-how.

 Things That Affect Your Credit Score:

  • Opening New Credit Cards
  • Credit Inquiries
  • Closing Credit Cards
  • Being Late on Bills

Things that do NOT affect your credit score

  • Race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age
  • Salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed, or employment history
  • Where you live
  • Interest rate you are charged on credit cards or other accounts
  • Any child/support obligations
  • Certain Inquiries
  • Information not in your credit report
  • Information not proven to be predictive of future credit performance
  • If you are participating in credit counseling


Fixing credit can boil down to knowing a few strategies. This first thing to do when trying to fix credit is to review credit reports. Pull it from all three credit bureaus and see where the lowest score is.

Next would be to review the report for accuracy. If something looks like a mistake, contact the bureau, and request it to be removed. One caveat is that negative information cannot be disputed if true. Negative information falls off a report after seven years.

Fixing credit often comes down to changing one’s financial habits. Keep accounts open, if possible, meet current obligations, avoid piggybacking with unreliable people, and monitor debt-to-income ratio. Additional help can be found in credit counselors.

We understand that no matter what your age is, credit scores and reports can be daunting and confusing, but with vigilance and practice, you can master your credit, too.



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