Experts offer tips on boosting credit scores

According to new figures from the credit agency FICO, 43 million Americans have a credit score of 599 or below, which is about 120 points under the preferred credit score of 720.

Thirty-five percent of the credit score is made up of paying bills on time, another 35 percent comes from keeping balances low, while the rest depends on the length of one's credit history and the types of credit a person has.

Carolyn McCormack, of SafeGuard, a non-profit credit counseling company, says a bad credit score can prevent people from getting a mortgage or taking out a loan.

McCormack advises those who are struggling to make ends meet to pay bills on time and keep credit card balances low.

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