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Q: How can I protect my credit rating?

Photograph of a man reviewing his bills. An apple core sits in the foreground in front of him.Diana says...
1) Pay your bills promptly. Avoid late payment fees by setting up pre-authorized, on-time payments for recurring bills such as telephone, cable and utilities. 2) For any amount on your statement shown as “overdue” or “over limit,” pay immediately. 3) Supercharge your credit rating by paying off your credit-card balance in full every month. (Note: If you can’t make your credit-card payment on time, or are struggling to pay the minimum, contact your creditors and explain the situation. Call your local nonprofit credit counselling service for unbiased financial advice.)

Diana Cawfield is an award-winning financial writer with more than 10 years experience. Send her your questions here.