An excellent credit score can make it easier to borrow money when you need it and can save you thousands of dollars in interest when you do. Best of all, achieving an excellent credit score could be easier than you might think.

The FICO score is the "gold standard" of credit scoring models and is used in more than 90% of lending decisions. Five distinct categories of information make up your FICO score:

  • Your payment history (35%).
  • Amounts you owe (30%).
  • Length of your credit history (15%).
  • New credit (10%).
  • Types of credit used (10%).

So, in no particular order, here are 10 ways you can master the FICO formula and get the credit score you want.