6 steps to boost your credit rating

Book Review: 'Your Credit Score: Your Money & What's at Stake'

It’s no secret that credit scores are increasingly important. The recession has sent many a consumer’s score down the drain, as people have lost homes, settled debts, declared bankruptcy, short-sold homes and even simply fallen behind on their mortgage payments in an effort to get their lender to restructure their home loan.

While consumer credit card debt is down, so are credit scores, on average, according to a recent study.

At the same time, the end of the subprime era has meant tighter credit requirements not just for home loans, but for all sorts of loans and credit. That’s right: Credit is more important than ever, and scores are down.

Until now, most financially savvy folk have been hunkering down, getting bills paid off and attempting to stabilize their position vis-