Paying your bills on time is an excellent way to strengthen your credit score, according to MyFICO.com, a consumer website operated by credit scoring company Fair Isaac Corp. in Minneapolis. A high score can let you borrow money at a lower interest rate and on more attractive terms.
If you've already missed a few mortgage payments, make a resolution to get and stay current as soon as you can.
"The longer you pay your bills on time after being late," the MyFICO website says, "the more your FICO score should increase. Older credit problems count for less, so poor credit performance won't haunt you forever."
FICO is just one type of credit score, but it's widely used by lenders, and on-time payments are fundamental to other credit scores as well.