Your credit score plays a key role in the homebuying process. Having a high credit score can help you score a lower interest rate on your mortgage—which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.

    But if you have a less-than-perfect credit score, there’s no reason to panic! There are steps you can take to increase your credit score—and snag the lower interest rates that come along with it.

    A recent article from Apartment Therapy outlined five key strategies to improving your credit score, including:

    • Paying your bills on time, all the time;
    • Keeping credit card balances low;
    • Auditing your credit report on a regular basis (and correcting any mistakes);
    • Limiting hard inquiries; and
    • Giving your score time to grow

    The Takeaway:

    Bottom line? If you make these five strategies a rule, your credit score will improve—and you’ll be able to save money on your mortgage as a result.