Having good credit is something that many people earn. It’s not something you’re given and nowadays seems to be harder and harder to maintain thanks to a falling economy. Millions of people are losing their jobs, and it has become a spiraling effect. Job loss equals no money coming in, and in turn bills cannot be paid. Over time collection agencies start harassing you and your credit begins to suffer. However, there are a few tips that can help you maintain your credit score to keep it from falling any lower.

Learn to Manage Your Money

It seems many people have more than one credit card, and this leads to temptation. Nowadays, saying “charge it” seems to be a common phrase, and is what keeps getting you in trouble. Credit cards should be used for emergency purposes and you want to consider a way to use them as little as possible.

Rather than paying the mere minimum each month on your cards, consider paying a little more if possible. Getting that balance down quicker can help your credit score, and quit accepting the offers you get pretty regularly in the mail. The more plastic you have, the worse off your credit can become even if you don’t use the cards.

Monitor Your Credit and Take Control

Nowadays, checking your credit and monitoring it regularly has become essential. More and more people are becoming victim to identity theft, and this is something that is easily done for criminals. You need to make sure everything that’s being reported to your credit is your doing.

You are entitled to see your credit report once a year by all 3 major credit bureaus. When you get your report, you want to make sure everything is accurate. There have been studies done that have shown 1 out of 4 reports contains errors of some sort. If there is inaccurate info on your report dispute it before it does any more damage to your credit.

Control Damage

We all hate the collection agencies once they begin hounding you with phone calls 10 times a day. However, you can simply answer the call and talk to them about your situation. Rather than putting it off and accruing an even higher balance with the agency, see if they are willing to develop a payment plan that you can afford. This helps get your debt under control and can start getting you back on the right path to repairing your credit.

Stick to the Due Dates

When you have credit cards that are due, always make the payments on time. This helps keep things balanced out and can avoid your credit score from dropping with each month you miss. The same goes with your mortgage, rent, utility bills, and even cell phone bills. If you’re going to be late, make sure you communicate with the loan or debtor so they know to expect a late payment. There may be cases where they can eliminate the late penalty fee.