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Step 2: Raise Your FICO Score
In today's economy, your financial character is being determined by one thing—your FICO score. "You are your FICO score," Suze says.

"FICO happens to stand for Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that created the credit score years ago. FICO scores go from 300 to 850," Suze says. "The lower your FICO score, the higher your interest rate. The higher your FICO score, the lower your interest rate."

Download this chart to see how your FICO score is determined. PDF

Suze says any score below 700 is considered low, so it's more important than ever to give your credit a boost. Landlords—and even employers—are starting to look at that number very closely. "[A low FICO score implies] you're not paying your bills on time, and if you're not paying your bills on time, why should a landlord think you're going to be able to pay his her rent?" Suze says. "Employers are starting to check FICO scores. Because if you're not good with your own money maybe you won't be good with the company's money either."
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FROM: Best Life Week: Your Money Plan 2009
Published on January 22, 2009
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

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