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What is a good FICO credit score?
What are some tips to establish good credit?
Reducing Debt
Student loan debt and your credit score

Good FICO credit scores

The FICO credit score ranges on a scale from 300 (worst) to 850 (best). As discussed in our credit score section, FICO uses five categories to determine a credit score using factors disclosed in your credit report. Here is the FICO Score Range:

FICO Score Range

For more detailed information on FICO scores, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section on

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Tips to establish good credit

There are many ways to get your credit score on the right track. Here are some tips:

  • Always pay bills on time
  • Complete credit applications carefullly and accurately
  • Do not open mulitiple credit accounts all at once
  • Use your credit cards responsibly
    • do not let them reach their limit or spend beyond your means
    • try to stay within 10-15% of your limit
  • Attempt to pay your credit card balance in full each month
    • At the least, attempt to make the minimum payment by the due date
  • If you have probelms paying your bills, contact your creditors (in many cases they will work with you to figure out a payment plan)
  • If your credit card is lost or stolen, report it immediately
  • Review your credit reports periodically for accuracy and report any error immediately (remember you can get a free report annually per company at

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Reducing Debt

Now that you understand the basics of credit, it is time for you to set a spending plan and stick to it. Most importantly, if you are tyring to reduce your debt, don't get discouraged. Reducing debt is like losing weight: you won't lose 50 pounds in a month! You need realistic goals in reasonable timeframes. Debt reduction works the same way. Remember to live within your means and be diligent about adjusting any spending habits that may have contributed to the debt situation you are in today. Dedicating yourself to paying off what you owe and becoming debt-free will be worth the wait with a brighter financial future. Review our Spending Money Wisely links for tips on how to set a realistic spending plan and set yourself up for financial success.

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Student loan debt and your credit score

Much of consumer debt is comprised of student loan debt and can impact you long after you leave UTSA. If you are unable to keep up with your debt and student loan payments, it will negatively impact your credit score and will be reflected on your credit report. This can affect your ability to get private loans or buy a home or car. In addition, defaulted Stafford loans can result in the government garnishing your wages or withholding your IRS income tax return. If you choose to go back to school, you cannot receive financial aid if you are in default.

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