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Your Credit Score: The Magic Number Explained | Reader's ...

Your credit score, explained.

You know your Social Security number, your PIN, an access code here, a password there. But do you know the number that will cost--or save--you thousands of dollars? Your credit score is a number that banks use to determine whether you qualify for credit--and if so, how much interest they'll charge you. Insurance carriers and phone companies rely on the scores to...

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How to Improve Your Credit Score | Reader's Digest

Get back in good financial shape.

Never miss a payment

iStock/Geber86

Payment history factors into a whopping 35 percent of your credit score, so you'll definitely see the effects if you tend to miss bills. If you didn't set email reminders when you signed up for your credit card, change your settings now, or mark due dates on your phone or paper calendar. If you still have a hard time...

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