New credit score affects borrowers

RALEIGH "It really kind of gives lenders a rate to tell them how reliable you are in paying off your debt," explained Clarky Davis with The Debt Diva.

But after 20 years, the formula for the FICO score is changing slightly. Collection debts under $100 or a single repossession won't hurt as much.

But consumers with less available credit and multiple closed accounts may see a significant point drop.

Your payment history can help lift your credit score.

"If it's not so great, you need to do your best and to do that you really need to make sure you pay all your bills on time. Make sure that you make the bare minimum balance payment.

In these uneasy economic times, Davis says salaries remain steady for those lucky enough to hold onto their jobs, but the cost of living continues to grow. So, if you're spending like you did last year watch out.

"You're more than likely overspending and you're likely dipping into credit cards to help float you with your paycheck," said Davis.

The goal is to protect that precious FICO score, and that may mean re-budgeting.

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