If you're in the unenviable position of having to miss a payment, choose carefully. Missing a mortgage or auto loan payment will ding your credit more than skipping a credit card payment will. "Those are more substantive debts, so they carry more weight in the credit score," Davies says.
Of course, missing a payment is a last resort. Pay the minimum payment to keep accounts current. To head off a catastrophe, contact a nonprofit credit counseling service that can help you work with your lenders to come up with a more affordable, temporary payment plan or another solution.