[-- Read Time: 2 mins --]

Everyone’s always preaching about the importance of having good credit.  It makes it easier to get approved for a new loan, you’ll receive the lowest interest rates, higher credit limits and better car insurance rates. Although the average FICO score is 704 there are people who fall way below that. The good news is you can quickly raise your credit score by prioritizing certain bills over others. Keep reading to find out which debts you need to focus your efforts on.

Any credit accounts you can pay on time

Nothing impresses creditors more than paying your bills on time.  Out of all the things that can affect your credit score, payment history carries the most weight.  It’s responsible for thirty-five percent of your score.  The bills creditors care about most are your credit cards, mortgage, student loans, car loans and personal loans.  So, keep them in good standing.

Credit cards that are maxed out or almost there

Word to the wise, just because you’re given a $5,000 credit limit doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use it all.  The second most important factor in determining your FICO score is your credit utilization.  Creditors are interested in seeing how much of your limit you actually use.  Exceeding 30% of your available credit can have a negative impact on your FICO score.  An easy way to keep things under control is to track your spending throughout the month.  This will allow you to see when it’s time to start reeling it in.  You can also set up balance alerts, so you’re notified when you’re approaching your limit.  Other helpful tips include asking for a higher credit limit or making multiple payments throughout the month.

High-interest credit cards

Getting out of credit card debt is difficult because companies tack on interest if you don’t pay your total balance by the due date.  According to Nerd Wallet, people with revolving credit card debt paid $1,141 in interest alone last year.  It’s not a big surprise considering the average card APR stands at 17.76 percent.  Carrying a balance on a high-interest credit card costs more money.  Therefore, paying them first can help you save some green and get out of debt faster.