Making regular debit card payments does not help to build a credit score because debit cards are linked to checking accounts, and checking account history is not a factor in credit bureau analysis, states About.com. However, proper use of credit cards linked to credit accounts improves credit scores.
Although the use of debit cards instead of credit cards lowers debt risk, the practice of good credit card spending and payment habits builds credit scores, according to About.com. One of the most important factors in building a good credit score is always paying bills on time, states the Federal Reserve System. Consumers should keep debt-to-credit ratios in credit card accounts low, ideally at 30 percent or less, states Bankrate. They should not keep low balances on a number of cards, but instead choose one or two cards to use regularly and pay the others off. It is best not to close unused credit card accounts, but if a consumer closes some of them, the oldest should remain open, as length of credit history is important.
Consumers should be cautious about applying for new credit, as too many credit applications can negatively impact a credit score, according to the Federal Reserve System. Consumers are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three national credit reporting bureaus each year, reports the Federal Trade Commission. Monitoring credit reports and disputing inaccurate or incomplete information can boost credit scores.