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Saving a Buck: How to save your credit score

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- With a competitive job market, and the holidays just around the corner; your wallet may be tight.

How does one save a buck, while also saving their credit?

NewsChannel 4 has the 4 things you need to know.

When you think of credit you probably think of borrowing power; buying a car a home; opening a line of credit but there's a lot more to this responsibility than you might realize. And, it affects all aspects of your life.

"It's really become more of an issue since 2009; since the recession, and I think that's probably because credit took such a hit," Bettye Taylor, with Express Employment Services, says.

Everybody needs one; a job and everybody has one; a credit score. They both can affect each other.

How you pay your bills can tell a future employer how seriously you take your job and can either make or break if you get hired.

"Now we're almost seeing it as a level of responsibility to gauge a person's responsibility," David Feisal, with Spirit Bank, says.

And your boss isn't the only one who's looking.

"Your credit score is one of the components that many typically larger insurance companies take into consideration when they establish your premium amount," Taylor says.

Regardless of your loss or claims history; a higher score means a lower premium.

But how can you increase or preserve your credit score?

Here are a couple of surprises bank lenders say can have a huge impact.

"I have seen consumers get dozens of points increase in their score because they took a $500 credit card that might have had a $450 dollar balance and paid it down to a hundred dollars," Feisal says.

It may take a couple of months to reflect on your score, but you can increase your credit by more than fifty points by simply paying down small balances.

And here's probably the most shocking credit pointer. You'd think that paying an old claim, like an old medical bill, would be a good thing. It depends on how you handle it.

"If that's a five year old collection account as an example and you decide to pay that to zero and the collection updates it from a five year old report to a current report cut to it could have a detrimental negative impact on your credit score," David Feisal says.

Simply because the update makes it a current collection experts say pay the bill. Just ask that the date not be updated or refreshed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can ask that an old claim be completely removed from your credit report by simply contacting the collection agency, or the person you owe.