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The most obvious thing in building credit is paying all your bills on time –— this includes not just credit card bills, but phone and cable bills. But even if you pay your bills on time, this doesn’t guarantee that you are building good credit.

For instance, if you have department store credit cards and are making large purchases regularly, this can affect the way potential lenders view you.

Also, make sure your bank reports any credit transactions you have with them to the credit agency because some companies don’t — and that is one of the ways to boost your credit rating.

Another thing to be aware of is getting credit cards through your spouse.  When I first came to Canada I made that mistake. Despite having leased a car in my name and having made all my payments on time, it did nothing to build my own credit history, because our credit card was under my wife’s name. The moral of this story is for you and your spouse to get separate credit cards.

Finally, check your credit report on a regular basis and contact the credit bureaus immediately if you see any errors. There can be a number of reasons for errors showing up on your credit report, such as bill payments not being recorded. Another more serious problem, however, could be fraudulent use of your credit cards or personal identification to access your assets and income, which unfortunately is a growing problem everywhere these days.

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