Unless you’ve already got a very high credit score, one in the 800 range or better, you need to know how to fix it. Your credit score follows you around like a lost dog looking for a home, and can not only get you the financing you need for a home or car, but can get you the best rates too. To top it off, your credit score helps control how much you pay on everything from credit to life and car insurance. As such, your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life except for maybe your blood pressure and cholesterol, and a low credit score can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

These days your credit score is vitally important. That’s true not just when trying to get credit, as in the past, but for many more mundane parts of your daily life. One are where credit scores are used extensively is in the insurance industry. Many service providers, such as insurance companies have found they can correlate risk to your credit score with a fairly high degree of accuracy. You know what that means; as your credit score falls, your insurance rates rise.

Another area that you may be aware of where your credit score can make a big difference is the rental market. You may find yourself hard pressed to rent an apartment with an abysmal credit score. In some tight rental markets, your score doesn’t even have to be all that bad. If the market is tight, landlords can afford to be more selective, and one of the criteria they’ll use to help select renters is their credit score. Experience has shown that, as with insurance, there is a correlation between the reliability of a renter and their credit score. The lower the credit score, the more the landlord has to worry about.

On top of all these other things, a low credit score will of course make it more expensive to get credit of all kinds; from auto loans to mortgages. With the recent shakeup in the sub prime mortgage market, prospective borrowers may find it difficult to secure a mortgage if their credit score strays too low.