his old cliché is particularly true when it comes to credit. If you've always paid your bills on time, and if you don't charge up to the maximum limit on your credit cards, your credit history and corresponding credit score ought to be pretty high.
But if you pay even one or two bills 30 or 60 days late, or if you fail to make payments at all, or if you forget about filing your income taxes and you owe money to the IRS, your credit history and score will suffer.
The best thing you can do is to develop the habit of paying your bills on time. If you can't remember to write out an individual check, many companies will allow you to pay your bills electronically (and you'll save the cost of a stamp as well).
Don't fall for "credit repair" scams that promise you a whole new credit identity. These scams are illegal. For more information on credit scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission's Web site at www.FTC.gov.
Ilyce Glink is the bestselling author of 100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask, and is the Managing Editor of Right at Home Daily.