- Watch your debt to credit ratio: Keep your balances manageable and under your credit limit. Try not to use more than 10% of your available credit total.
- Credit accounts in good health: Keep you credit accounts open/active that are in good health. Meaning you have historically paid them on time. This will benefit your overall credit health.
- Pay your bills on time: Pay all your bills on time, including loans, utilities, insurance, and mortgage payments. To avoid late payments, set up payment reminders so you never miss a due date.
- Ritually check your credit reports: Check your credit report at least one a year for accuracy and discrepancies.
- Exceed your limits: Watch your credit card limits and stay below them.
- Miss out on your payments: Miss a payment as least the minimum payment due. If you feel there will be an issue with paying on time, contact the provider to set up a payment plan. This will also help you avoid you debt going into collections.
- Apply for new credit: Don’t apply for too many new lines of credit in a short period of time. Credit inquiries will affect your credit report for two years.
- File for bankruptcy: Avoid your debt being sent into collection and filing for bankruptcy if you can. This will stay on your report for 7+ years and will negatively impact your credit score.