How to Manage Your Credit Score During the Holiday Season

Woman holding gift wrapped in holiday wrapping paper

The holidays are a tempting time to splurge, but if you’re planning on purchasing a home in the near future, keep a close eye on your bills. ‘Tis the season for holiday spending, but the five tips below will help keep your credit score in great shape.

  1. Check in
    Forget making a list and checking it twice—check your credit score instead! It can be easy to forget where your score is and keeping the number top of mind is a great way to prioritize your credit goals over your shopping list during the holidays.
  2. Track everything
    Between mall madness and online shopping, it’s a challenge to keep track of exactly how much you’re spending. Don’t assume all purchase totals are accurate; review your receipts and credit card statements carefully and dispute any discrepancies, or a simple mistake could end up costing you money.
  3. Avoid big changes
    The new year may be approaching, but there’s a good reason to hold onto your old credit card accounts. Closing long-term accounts shortens your credit history and lowers your available credit limit, which may hurt your chances at an attractive mortgage.
  4. Spend thoughtfully
    Your loved ones may have wish lists a mile long, but don’t apply for new credit cards to try and fill the house with presents. New card accounts can shorten your average account time and lower your credit score—not a good idea if you’ll be applying for a home loan.
  5. Focus on the future
    Don’t empty your savings account or rack up credit card debt just to take advantage of a one-time deal. When it comes time to put down earnest money or pay closing costs, you’ll be thrilled you didn’t spend a fortune over the holidays!

We’ve outlined eight valuable tips for managing your credit no matter the season.

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