Your Credit Score: How to Fix, Improve, and Protect the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future was a 2006 instructional book by Liz Pulliam Weston. Growing up my parents gave me the basics of the credit score. Pay your bills on time, don’t build up too much debt, and you should be fine. I never knew the details though. When I saw this book laying around the parish rummage sale, I decided to pick it up and see if there was anything interesting in it.
The first few chapters were very interesting to me. She laid out the main categories that affect the credit score. Then she went into detail on each category with a list of all the positive things, that lead to a higher score, and the negative things, that lead to a lower score. I knew that I needed to build up more credit if I was to ever have the ability to buy a car or house without a co-signer, but I didn’t know what exactly to do do besides keeping debt down and paying bills on time like my parents told me.
From this book, I was happy to make a plan for the future of when to open new credit accounts and for what reasons. If I don’t lose a job or have any emergencies that will disrupt my plans, I should be on my way to a good credit score. I was also happy that the book wasn’t full of math. I was thinking it might go into the whole credit score formula and have exercises, but it really didn’t. Sometimes an example would be given with some numbers, but it was all simple math I could understand just by looking at it.
While the author didn’t list the chapters this way, I saw the book as having three main parts. The beginning was an explanation of the credit score with a little history and some information on how it’s calculated. The second part was examining the credit report to fix errors both positive and negative. Liz Weston wrote how to contact creditors and the credit bureaus to get things sorted out. The last part was how to recover from a low credit score. She gave a basic plan and illustrated its use through several different examples such as bankruptcies (high debt), a lost job, identity theft, and divorce.
I don’t have to worry about the second and third parts of the book now, but I will be keeping the book around for the future. I did wonder how current the book is though. I looked online, and it showed the most recent edition (4th) was released in 2011, but I think I only have the first edition. It’s possible that various laws have changed that would modify the author’s advice for certain things. I’m sure the majority of the information is still correct, but some things are probably not. I can still use those parts as a general guide if I am ever in one of those situations, but I would have to get more current advice to take action.