(I still don’t have internet in my new apartment, but I decided to take advantage of the fact that I was visiting my parents to make this quick post.)

About a week and a half ago I found out about Credit Karma, a website that gives you your current credit score for free (it’s true, no credit card required to sign up!). I was pleased to find that my credit score is in the excellent range, something I didn’t expect. Along with your credit score, Credit Karma also gives you free advice, calculators, and shows you where exactly you can save more money, so it was a great eye opener for me.

This post isn’t to gush about Credit Karma (although it’s a great opportunity), but rather to gush about the perks that come with having a great credit score. Since moving into an apartment I have witnessed the benefits firsthand. Deposits are waived, fees are lowered, and you are actually presented with options, something that’s not as common as you think.

When I first signed a lease for an apartment last year and set up a few utilities I ended up saving around $450. I was able to use that money to purchase furniture, appliances, and a lot of other things that I needed and my checkings account thanked me for it. It was a pleasant surprise, and I quickly learned just how much a good credit score can work in my favor. We read about it everywhere, but it doesn’t really hit you until you experience it and can see the amount you’re saving.

If you have a bad credit score, do not despair. What I love about credit is that it’s in our control. We can raise that score as quickly–or slowly–as we want, and there are a number of different ways to do it. With knowledge, patience, and diligence, anyone can have a great credit score, including those who feel like that day will never come. I remember when I applied for my first credit card. I was completely clueless. I didn’t even know about credit scores back then!

I made plenty of mistakes and quickly learned from them and bounced back. I’m still learning, still working towards making wise choices, and raising that score little by little as I go. It’s never too late to start, so get on board and reap those benefits! You’ll be glad you did.

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