The key to maintaining a good payment history is using credit responsibly. Most cardholders find that regardless of paying bills in a timely manner and tracking transactions, they are still taking hits to their credit score. There are a few factors that play a role in determining a payment history.
Activation is one thing cardholders fail to take into account, according to WIVB-TV. Consumers will often apply for a credit card, and assume it will not affect their payment history if they never use it. In actuality, individuals lose five points every time they sign up for a new card. Lenders also consider applicants with numerous open accounts to be a greater risk.
Consumers who use their plastic frequently but keep up with bills may still do damage to their payment histories. Maxing out a card can reduce a credit score by dozens of points.
The most proactive step cardholders can take is to monitor their credit closely to view how transactions affect their payment history and finances over time. Individuals with existing debt who are looking to improve their credit scores can consider consolidation to reduce their monthly expenses.