According to Fair Isaac, the company that builds the FICO score, the single biggest contributor to a good credit score is your payment history.
Missing a payment or paying late are two of the biggest detractors from a good score. Here are some tricks to make sure payments are made on time each month:
- Sign up for automatic payments. If you allow the company to withdraw the minimum amount due from your account each month, you’ll still have the option of paying more to reduce the loan size.
- Schedule set times to pay bills each week. By keeping a “budget meeting” each week, you’re less likely to get distracted by other tasks. If for some reason you must miss your budget work, make sure and reschedule the time in your calendar.
- Drop unnecessary credit cards. I’ve witnessed people getting in trouble with a card they use infrequently, then forget to pay later. Use a single credit card for all of your purchases or pay cash.