Understanding your credit score and what factors impact that score are crucial tools for building a healthy credit rating.

Your credit score determines how much you will pay in interest rates to borrow money or even whether you will even get financing in the first place. Credit reports are also used to decide whether to provide you with insurance, housing, and utilities. Even many employment decisions are based on your creditworthiness.

A higher credit score makes you a lower risk to lenders, which, in turn, means you are more likely to get credit or insurance—or pay less for it. It also means you are more likely to get that dream job you worked so hard to achieve.

Keep reading and learn to understand, manage, and improve your credit rating.