Protect Credit Score .

Sherelle Villacorta knew she had to get her credit score “under control” before graduating from college if she wanted to avoid problems signing an apartment lease or getting a loan.

“I want to be able to get a car some day,” says Ms. Villacorta, a financial analyst in Long Beach, Calif. “I want to get it on my own and not need to get help from my parents.”

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Ms. Villacorta cut back on her spending in order to pay down her credit-card debt faster. Now, six months later and debt-free, the 23-year-old pays any balance in full each month. And her credit score from credit-reporting company TransUnion has gone from an average 697 to an excellent 758.

Ms. Villacorta is one of many twentysomethings learning the importance of a credit score, a number used by lenders to help determine if you qualify for a credit card, mortgage and other loans. A credit score also is used when you apply for an apartment lease and even for some jobs.

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fluidideas@gmail.com

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