Say the word “holidays” to just about any one and chances are it will evoke thoughts about shopping.

The holidays are officially here, and that means the gift-giving season is well underway. As you’re running around from store to store trying to find that perfect gift, keep in mind that your credit score will still be there long after Christmas has passed. So, don’t neglect it. In fact, try to make it better. We’ve got a few easy, straightforward tips to help you show your credit score some holiday love.

1. Avoid those temptations to sign up for a store credit card.
Rest assured that credit card offers will be heading your way. Make it a point to avoid applying for new cards, even if they offer a discount on your purchase. Multiple cards with balances – even if those balances are small – can still hurt your credit score. Unless it’s a deal you just can’t pass up, go ahead and say “No, thanks.”

2. Keep up with your regular bills.
When holiday expenses roll around, resist the urge to avoid paying your regular bills so you have more cash on hand. Paying your normal bills on time is an important part of gradually improving your credit score. Even that small $25 water bill can affect your credit score if you fail to pay it.

3.  Use your current credit cards sparingly.
Managing credit card debt wisely is another important part of giving your credit score a boost. Keeping your balance on each card below the 35% total credit limit is a good rule of thumb, since maxing out credit cards can actually hurt your credit score even if you make payments on time. Bottom line: keep as little debt on your credit cards as possible and make responsible payments on them every month.

Don’t let the holidays be a drain on your credit score. By following these simple tips, you can be well on your way to improving those three digits!


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