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Financial expert offers easy tips to improve your credit score

The Knoxville Area Urban League offers a free budgeting credit class on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If your finances are a top priority this year, an important step can be improving your credit score. Financial experts say your score can have a ripple effect on many aspects of life.

Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, this scale should give you a good idea of where you fall when it comes to your credit score:

  • 800 or higher = Excellent
  • 740 to 799 = Very Good
  • 670 to 739 = Good
  • 580 to 669 = Fair

Felix Harris, vice president of programs and community engagement at the Knoxville Area Urban League, has some easy-to-follow tips if you are looking to improve your credit score:

  1. Pay your bills on time.
  2. Control your spending. Harris said you should lower your credit limit. For example, if your credit limit is $1,000, try to keep your balance below $200.
  3.  Do not open credit cards just to increase your credit balance.

Harris said having a good credit score is crucial if you're planning any sort of big move.

"If you want to rent, buy a home, buy a car, or anything that you want to get credit with, you want the lowest interest rate possible," Harris said. "That is what everyone wants, a good interest rate. Right now, with the increasing increase in prices of everything, you want the best possible interest rate that you can get."

If you or someone you know is having problems with their credit, KAUL offers a free budgeting credit class on the fourth Tuesday of every month. 

You can call the Urban League at 865-524-5511 or visit their website to register for the course.

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