Physician's Money Digest, March31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 6

As you might expect, payingyour bills on time has a huge effecton your overall FICO score, whichlenders use to determine whetheryou're a good credit risk. The morelate payments you have and the laterthey are (eg, 90 days vs 60 days),the lower your score will be. Howmuch you owe will also affect yourscore, along with the length of yourcredit history—the longer, the better.Avoid opening unnecessarycharge or credit accounts—eachone lowers your score and stays onyour record for 10 years, even if youclose them or they become inactive.