1. Check Your Credit Report Regularly. Before you can keep your credit in good standing you have to see your credit reports, these can be ordered from the 3 major Bureaus at a cost of around $8.00 each, it is a good idea to check your credit reports at least once per year.
2. Keep Track Of Your Budget – Knowing how, where and how much you are spending is key to keeping a healthy financial status, always keep records and write down all financial transactions, a good software program such as Quicken and QuickBooks can dramatically help you keep track of your budget.
3. Use Your Credit Responsibly – Don’t fall on the credit card trap, credit card companies will do everything to try to make you charge your credit card as high as possible, low interest rates, mail you free checks etc… Think before you use your plastic! Ask yourself do I need this? How long will it take me to pay it off? and most importantly… Can I afford it?
4. Find The Best APR Rates – A low or reasonable interest rate can save you a lot of money, always read the fine print before you apply for a credit card, loan etc…. Some credit cards will tempt you with a low interest rate to get you to sign up and then they will raise the rates dramatically, so be sure you know what you’re getting into.
5. Pay Your Bills On Time – Late payments can put a big dent in your pocket and your credit history, some credit card companies will raise their APR if you have a few late payments on your record, make sure you know when your payments are due and mail your payments on time.
6. Always Check Your Statements – Make sure all information on your monthly statements is correct especially look for charges that you have not made to your account.
7. Think Before Becoming A Co-Signer – Be aware that if you co-sign for someone and they are unable to fulfill their part of the agreement then you will be responsible for any unpaid debts, even if you have AAA credit, this can hurt your good credit, so think before you co-sign.
8. Keep Good Account Records – It’s a good idea to keep an accurate record of your account numbers, expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each creditor in a secure place in case you ever lose your credit cards you are able to contact the companies as soon as possible.
9. Dispose Of Records Properly – Never throw away credit card statements, bank records etc without shredding them or destroying any account information, this will prevent possible credit and/or identity theft which has become quite common these days.
10. Use Cash Whenever Possible – By using cash instead of credit whenever possible people tend to spend less, this may help you to lower your debt instead of making it worse.