Borrowers should closely monitor their credit cards and credit reports, consumer advocates said. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your credit score as high as possible.

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Borrowers should closely monitor their credit cards and credit reports, consumer advocates said.

First and foremost, pay your bills on time, not just on your credit cards but on all your debts. That means not falling behind on your mortgages or student loans.

“You need to do everything you possibly can to keep your credit score as high as possible,” said Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of LowCards.com.

Also keep your debt utilization as low as you can. If you want to avoid having your account shut, use your card every once in a while but pay it off right away.

Make sure you check what fees you will be paying for certain transactions such as balance transfers. And keep a close watch on your credit limit.

“If that goes down, you stand the risk of really incurring fees,” Hardekopf said. “You could blow by your limit and once you do that, not only will you instantly get an over-the-limit fee, but then you will most likely get hit with an APR increase, so that the cycle continues.”