Join CUNA - you can check your credit all you want with it being reported as an inquiry. It also sends alerts to your e mail whenever there is a change in credit report. Most use equifax which will always be the lowest score.Experion and Transunion are the other two major reporting agencies. 12.99 per month it provides an extra level of protection. Paid on time is the thing. Too much unsecured debt is bad. Not enough debt or not enough open accounts works against your credit also. Check your credit @ free credit report.com. Check to see if there is anything that was reported incorrectly or is not yours. These will not go away by themselves. Dispute anything your not sure of. I have one item on my credit that has been paid but the utility will not remove it. That one item is steadily drawing down my credit. Also every( Hard credit check) - one where you are applying for credit or a loan drops your credit across the board. Applying for credit should only be done as necessary. Buying a house will knock your credit way down, so be prepared. And keep your report clean- this requires monitoring. Always contest anything that is incorrect. 7 years is the limit that a account can be kept alive. If you find an incorrect entry that is 6yrs and 9mo. old and you make an inquiry or pay it the seven year rule begins again. Leave that one alone and in three months it will be removed. Be proactive! When you pay anything that you find on your report Aways ask the creditor if they will remove their filing, if you pay whatever it is, and if possible get it in writing. The more I have attempted to remove that one item the lower my score gets. If I had contested it first instead of doing the right thing and paying it, which I did, I would not have had my credit suffer. On the other hand I wouldn't have all this information to give you. So good Luck! Oh, and if you are going to be late for a payment - call them. This shows you are responsible and concerned. Do not call - and it will end up on your credit report.
Having had prefect credit at one time I took it fo granted - until I got sick. I hope you never have this happen, so keep an eye on your credit report.