How to Build Good Credit
Pay your bills on time
Late payments will negatively affect your credit score for years.
Try to reduce your debt at every opportunity
Pay down your credit cards, car loans and mortgages when you have extra available cash (yes, car loans and mortgages are considered debt).
Make sure you have a plan that accurately reflects your monthly income and expenses. Don't charge more than 50 percent of the available line of credit on each credit card. Example: You have a $1,000 limit on your credit card. Do not charge more than $500.
Check your credit annually
You are legally entitled to dispute any incorrect or incomplete information on your file. You can do this online with any of the three major credit bureaus.
If any negative information on your credit report is accurate, the law states that it cannot be removed.
- Derogatory credit will stay on your credit report for seven years.
- Tax liens, bankruptcies and abstract judgments will stay on your credit for 10 years