1. In order to build a good credit score, you must always pay the full instalment amount that is owed on your account(s) every month.
2. Budget – never buy on credit without knowing if you can afford the monthly instalments.
3. Never ignore a letter of demand for payment. Make a phone call or write a letter to explain your situation.
4. Always pay your accounts on time every month.
5. If you are unable to make a payment due to unforeseen circumstances, talk to the credit provider concerned and make alternative arrangements to pay back what you owe.
6. Try to keep credit repayments between 20% and 30% of your monthly income. For example, if you earn R5 000 per month, keep all of your credit repayments to within R1 000 and R1 500 per month.
7. Ensure that you always supply the most accurate information about yourself on a new credit application.
8. When applying for credit ask the credit provider to show you how much you will pay every month, depending on how much you spend, to prevent yourself from becoming over-indebted.
9. Never ignore a summons to court for non-payment. This could become a very serious reflection on your credit profile.
10. Check your credit report regularly to make sure that the information on your credit report is accurate.