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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Monday, Oct. 7, 2013

Free apps to save your credit score

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Nobody likes having bad credit. Thankfully, there are free apps that could keep you from forgetting about bills and damaging your credit score.

The secret to great credit is really no secret at all. More than a third of your credit score is made up of how well you pay each and every monthly bill on time. It would be great if we could all be on top of every bill all the time. But we all know it doesn't play like that in the real world!

Sometimes it's because bills actually do occasionally get lost in the mail. With a busy life, you don't notice they didn't come in and they go unpaid through no fault of your own. But nobody wants to hear your story.

Other times it could be your fault. You could have a bill come in and then it gets misplaced in the house. That just happened to me with my water bill. I had to pay a $5 late fee, which I didn't like doing. At least it didn't go 30 days late to actually reflect on my credit.

Fortunately, there's an easy solution. Some people use Mint for simple budgeting and reminders. But others find Mint too invasive. So now there are all these different apps you can use that will make sure you're reminded when bills are due.

Some are screen scrapers that actively monitor your accounts in real time and send alerts about bills without you having to do anything. Others are set up where you manually enter your due dates and then they send you simple reminders.

Here are some of the ones I've heard about, most of which work on freemium business models:

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