Credit scores are based upon a number of factors, including your ability to pay bills on time. This includes all installment loans, revolving credit, utilities and other bills, but even those who keep up with their accounts can be saddled with a bad credit history. How? Take a look at your public records.
While arrests or convictions on your public record do not count against your credit score, severe financial moves do, including if you have filed for bankruptcy. This type of decision can stay in your credit report for up to 10 years, which can make it very difficult to secure a loan in the future.
Have you skipped a child support payment? That information shows up on your public record, as well. It is important to pay all bills, not just the ones directly related to credit. Other things that appear on your record include court judgments, state and county court records, tax liens and financial judgments.
Fortunately, any positive activity in your credit history says with your account forever, so it is important to keep up with your payments to prove to lenders that you are a low-risk borrower.