THE BLOG
01/28/2016 04:41 pm ET Updated Jan 28, 2017

It's Time to Get Healthy... Healthy Credit, That Is!

It's the start of the year, and with the new year come New Year's resolutions.

We often use New Year's Resolutions to help us focus on getting healthy - setting goals like going to the gym, watching what we eat, losing weight, quitting smoking, and so on.

But your physical health is not the only area that can be improved! Your financial health, as measured by your FICO score, is another area that can be improved.

In this article, you'll read about 6 ways that you can get "credit healthy" this year.

1. Set a goal. Just like a New Year's resolution to eat healthier or lose weight, your credit health is measured by your credit score, so set a goal that you'd like to achieve this year.

2. Reverse-engineer your goal. A goal like "I want to lose 20 pounds" is a result. Now you need to work backwards from that goal to identify the actions to take to achieve that goal. It's the same with your credit score: start with your credit score goal that you'd like to achieve and work backwards to identify a series of actions to take to work on your goal.

3. Schedule those actions. In the last step, you created a list of actions to improve your credit. Chances are, that list probably included steps like "pay down credit cards each month" and "review my report to ensure accuracy". Take this list and put each action into your calendar, scheduling them so that you remember to do them on the right day.

4. Take action! Take action regularly on your steps toward healthier credit. When possible, do even more than you had planned so that you can advance more quickly toward your goal.

5. Work with a friend. It's always easier to reach a goal when you have a friend who can help, so find a friend who can join you on your quest - either to work on THEIR credit at the same time or to just offer friendly accountability.

6. Check-in regularly. When you're working on your physical health, you know the importance of checking your blood pressure and weight regularly, along with regular visits to the doctor, in order to ensure you're on track. With your credit, you can check in by pulling your FICO score and credit reports.

It's the beginning of the year, and that means it's time to make some changes. Perhaps you've made some resolutions to improve your physical health. So why not also make some changes to improve your financial health as well? Use these 6 tips above to get healthy - CREDIT healthy! - this year.