1. Make sure to make at least a minimum payment within 30 days of your original due date. Preferably, give yourself a cushion so your payment is received within the 30 days. Avoid interest charges.
2. Lenders and credit bureaus favor borrowers who utilize a low percentage of their available credit. In the past, borrowers have paid what they owed in full, just prior to applying for loans and credit. Now, however, lenders are reviewing debts carried over the past 24 to 30 months. So, if possible, pay your credit card bills in full every month.
3. Consider putting federal debt and tax liens on the top of your if-you-can-pay-only-one-debt-list. Along with student loans, these types of debts cannot generally be discharged in bankruptcy.