Before You Buy, Check Your Credit Score
Your credit score largely determines what interest rate you pay. It's that simple. It's also why you need to be sure that the information that the credit reporting bureaus are keeping on you is as accurate as possible.
Errors are easy. Somehow, the bureau doesn't realize that you've canceled a credit card. Perhaps your address information is not current. Maybe you've paid off a loan and it's not recorded!
Or maybe you've had an experience like us: we almost had the electric company report a "disconnect notice" on us! Our payment had gone astray (we'd accidentally paid the wrong electricity account -- we paid on our cottage and not our home) and suddenly we were receiving a notice that we were overdue! We paid right away, but somehow the payment wasn't immediately credited to our account, and we received a threat to disconnect! I called the company very concerned, and got it straightened out immediately. Utility companies report regularly to the bureaus and our credit history would have been very negatively impacted by a "disconnect threat".
You can bet that I'll be following up with the credit bureaus to be sure this isn't on my record.
Keep in mind that any black mark on your credit history will affect your credit score. So be sure that any black mark is removed as soon as possible -- or never appears in the first place.