If you ever plan on buying a house, getting a new set of wheels, or borrowing money – you’ll need to make sure your credit rating is looking good.

This little number basically tells you how well you’re handling your debts at a given moment in time. The higher the rating, the more likely you’ll be approved for credit (or, be able to borrow money).

The good news is that you can always improve your credit rating

Here are five simple ways to pump up your score:

  1. Pay all of your bills on time

    You’re much more likely to lend money to a friend who always pays you back quickly than one who doesn’t. Your credit rating works the same way. A record of consistent, on-time payments will do wonders for your overall credit-worthiness.

  2. Pay off debt regularly

    Paying the minimum amount due (or more) on any credit cards or loans each month shows that you’re capable of managing your moolah effectively. So get to it!

  3. Don’t apply for any new lines of credit

    Each time you apply for a new credit card or credit account, your credit rating takes a ding. So, remember to only open new lines of credit if you actually (like, really, really) need them.

  4. Build up a savings stash

    Having a savings fund can give you the support you need to pay your bills on time, every time. With a reliable stash to draw from, you’ll be able to avoid late payments being listed on your credit file (these can drag down your credit score). After all, it always pays to be safe!

  5. Keep up-to-date with your credit file

    Checking your credit file regularly helps ensure that your credit report remains free of errors and that you haven’t been a victim of identity theft.

    It all comes down to following this all-important formula: keep your credit rating in the green now, reap the benefits later.