Affecting and Protecting Your FICO Credit Score

In part one of this series, I explained what a FICO credit score is and how to find out yours. Now it’s time to discuss what you can do about it.       

How to Improve Your FICO Score

Improving your FICO credit score is like running a marathon.  It is a slow and steady process that requires you to pay bills on time, pay off debt, and keep balances low.

Did you know paying your bills on time accounts for 35 percent of your fico credit score?

Paying bills on time is imperative!  As a matter of fact, paying your bills by their due date accounts for 35% of your FICO score.

You must plan your bill payment schedule.  There is absolutely no excuse for paying late when you have money in the bank.  Keep on top of your bills and the due date because if you don’t your credit score will take a hit.

Budgeting will assist you with this process because you will know when money is coming in and when it is going out.  If you have had trouble with paying bills on time in the past, now is the time to TAKE CONTROL!  You can get organized and start paying on time now, and over time you will see your credit score improve.

How to Protect Your FICO Score

In order to protect your credit score, keep your debt balances low.  High outstanding debt will negatively impact your credit score in what is called a high debt to equity ratio.

In business, this ratio shows the proportion of equity and debt a firm is using to finance its assets, and the ability for shareholder equity to fulfill obligations to creditors in the event of a business decline.

In our personal finance case, it compares your personal debt to your assets.  You want this ratio to be low.

Paying off your debt is an excellent way of increasing your FICO score.  Think about that debt to equity ratio that we just discussed.  This will decrease the debt portion of the ratio, which makes your creditors happy!  You will appear as less of a credit risk.

The Takeaway

It is nearly impossible for me to cover every facet of FICO scores in a few short blog articles.  My goal was to scratch the surface with all of our strong readers and get you thinking proactively about your financial wellness.

You are strong and hopefully have gained some insights on how to remedy even the worst credit situation.  If you need additional information or help understanding credit reports, please e-mail Strong Is Our Sexy.  I am here to educate and serve our readers.

Amanda Golsch is a six year employee of Children’s Hospital Medical Center and an adjunct professor for the University of Cincinnati. While in grad school, Amanda developed a passion for personal finance. She realized that personal finance can impact every aspect of your life, including your health. Therefore, Amanda has set out to teach as many women as possible basic financial principles that can leave a powerful and lasting impact. Her motto is “A financially literate woman is a powerful woman.” Got a question for Amanda? Write to

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