3. Burnish Your Credit Score

Credit scores have been around for decades, but they’ve become increasingly important in recent years. Lenders, insurance companies, and landlords often rely heavily on scores derived from credit information to evaluate applicants and to determine how much to charge. Bad or nonexistent credit scores can cost you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars over your lifetime, as I wrote in my book Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future (FT Press, 2011).

However, you can rehabilitate bad scores and protect good ones by engaging in the right behaviors. Here’s what you need to know.

Improving Bad Scores Takes Time, Patience

Q: I’m 27 and have been working ...

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