1. It may seem like a hassle to monitor your credit report every year because you have to contact the three agencies separately. Well, you can just call the Federal hotline at 877-322-8228 or complete the Annual Credit Report Request at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/include/requestformfinal.pdf and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Much easier!
2. If you are going to be late on a payment, pay it before the 30 day late point as it will be reported if not received after that point.
3. The game of transferring balances on new cards with 0% or low teaser interest rate actually hurts your credit rating as you are increasing your available credit without your income going up proportionately.
4. Do not cancel old credit cards that you have had for a long time, even if you have not used them in a long time. The length of time you have had a credit history is just as important as some other pieces. If you feel you have too many open, cancel the newest cards.
5. The key to a healthy credit score is having different types of credit. For example, a mortgage is long term, car or student loan is intermediate and credit cards are usually considered short term. It is the balance of these different types of credit, and their consistent payment that builds a really strong credit rating over time.
6. If your credit score is less than desired, try to get a secured line credit card from a vendor. This is a type of card where you have deposited cash to back up the credit limit. Over time with consistent paying you can build trust back to get a more traditional type card that is not dependent on cash to secure the credit limit.
7. Avoid store credit cards that are offered usually at checkout for quickie discounts while shopping. The interest rates are often quite high as are the credit limits, which can lull shoppers into a false sense that they are saving money. They also have shorter billing cycles, thus the consumer is prey to falling behind easier, which of course impacts your credit score negatively, all for a one time limited discount!