2. Pay your bills on time, all the time - Deepstash

2. Pay your bills on time, all the time

Your payment history is the biggest factor in determining your credit score. Lenders don't want to give money to someone who has a history of missed payments.

Paying a bill more than 30 days late can drag down your score. "One single missed payment can drop your score anywhere from 100 to 300 points," said McClary.

If you went through a period of time where money was tight and you were late with some payments, it's time to right the ship. Curb your spending and start a track record of paying your bills on time.

Here's the golden rule: Only charge what you can afford to pay every month in full.

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