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KENNESAW, Ga. | Mar 8, 2017

Kennesaw State professor Stefano Mazzotta offers credit score advice

If you’ve ever applied for a loan or credit card, you know that your credit score is more than just a three-digit number: it’s a numerical representation of your financial habits. And it tends to speak volumes, most important of which is how well you manage your debts.

Stefano Mazzotta, a professor of finance in the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, shared his expertise on credit scores.

What tips do you have for a person trying to increase their credit score in a short amount of time?

You need to know where you are before you can decide where you want be. Hence, you need to establish a systematic credit monitoring routine that can guide a disciplined approach to credit improvement. There are several ways to check the credit score. (See e.g., CFPB website).

Once you get your report, the very first thing to do is to check for errors and dispute them with credit agencies if you found any. The second action that can have a quick effect is to try to become an authorized user. This means that you are added to as a user of a friend or relative existing credit card account. Finding someone that will allow you may be difficult and you will need to be responsible.

Typically, reducing balances is the sure way to improve credit. However, this may not always be possible in the short run.

What are some commonly held misperceptions about how credit scores are calculated?

It is fairly common to believe that checking your credit score frequently has a negative impact. This is not the case.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.