Posted on: Jul. 28, 2017 in Credit Score

One of the most important factors credit bureaus use to determine your credit score is your payment history. In fact, your payment history can comprise around 35% of your score! That means that paying your bills on time is crucial for a good credit score. Even when you know this, you may not know what to do with the information.


Let’s break it down into three simple categories - Past, Present, and Future

Past: The first thing you’ll want to do is get a copy of your credit report to see if you have any late payments noted. You are entitled to one free report from each of the main three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). You can get these reports from

If you have no late payments, great! If you do have some, you’re not necessarily doomed. One late payment isn’t going to tank your score. It will remain on your report for seven years, but it will eventually fall off and no longer affect your score.

If you have any accounts in delinquency or with collection agencies, you’ll want to take care of those right away. Reach out to the creditors to see what you can do to get the account current. You can also request that they update the credit bureaus to indicate you’ve resolved the issue. They won’t erase the negative remarks, but they can show that you’ve handled the situation.

Present: Pay your bills on time, every time. Don’t kid yourself that one late payment won’t hurt that much, even if you’re having a really rough time. If you think you’re going to miss a payment, call your creditor to see if you can make any arrangements to avoid taking a hit on your score.

Future: Keep paying those bills on time! Set up a budget so you’ll have the money when you need it. Set an alarm or reminder when bills are coming due. Consider setting up automatic payments so you won’t miss any.

If you do set up autopay, be sure to always check to make sure the payments clear when they are supposed to. A late payment because of a system glitch can still hurt you.

Your payment history tells lenders if you’re a responsible borrower. They are far more likely to loan you money if they are certain they’ll get it back. Keep your payment history clean and your score will reflect it!

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