1. If your creditors allow you to make your payments on-line, take advantage of it. That way, you don’t have to worry about your payments getting lost or delayed in the mail.
2. Write your due dates on your calendar (paper or computer) so you don’t forget about them.
3. Leave your credit cards at home in a safe place when you don’t plan on using them. This reduces the likelihood of them getting lost or stolen.
4. Always check your monthly statements for errors and unauthorized charges. Contact your creditor immediately if you notice any.
5. Many creditors close accounts that have not been used in several months. This can hurt your credit score. Try to make a small purchase on every card each month, but never charge more than you can afford to repay.
6. Having one or two store credit cards is not necessarily bad, but avoid saying yes every time a cashier asks you if you want to apply for one. You may get a discount on that day’s purchase, but store cards tend to come with extremely high interest rates.
7. Avoid getting cash advances on your credit cards. The interest rate is typically higher than the one for purchases, and there usually is no grace period as well.
8. Think twice before agreeing to co-sign on a credit card or loan for a friend or family member. Even if you are not making the purchases or borrowing the funds, late or missed payments can be reflected on your credit report.
9. If you are having trouble making your payments, talk to your creditors. They may allow you to skip or make lower payments for a few months.
10. Think carefully before transferring a balance to a credit card with an introductory teaser rate. What is the interest rate once it expires? What is the balance transfer fee? If they are high, it may not be worth it.