Q: Will the start of a new year affect my credit score?

A: The new year may mark a fresh start in many aspects of a consumer’s life, but your credit score won’t be changed once 2012 is rung in.

“Credit reports, the sole basis for your credit scores, are snapshots in one single point in time and no more meaningful simply because it's Jan. 1,” says John Ulzheimer, CEO of SmartCredit.com. “Chronology, or the series of events of which the start of a new year would be one point in that series of time/events, is not on a credit report and therefore not considered in your scores.”

(As MainStreet has previously reported, chronology is different than the age of the actual report, which does impact your score in a variety of ways.)

This isn’t to say that you can’t repair or build upon your current score in 2012, which can be done by paying down credit card debts, making all new payments on time and checking a credit report for inaccuracies.

You can find some other steps intended to improve your credit score in the long-term in MainStreet’s year-end credit checklist.

—Jeanine Skowronski is staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach her by email at Skowronski.jeanine@thestreet.com, or follow her on Twitter at @JeanineSko.