Conn. (WTNH) — The countdown to Black Friday is on, when many people officially kick off their holiday spending.

It’s important to be careful not to take on too much debt to negatively impacting your credit score. We’re Stretching Your Dollar with five ways to boost your score heading into the holidays.

Do you need it to buy a home, a car, or get better rates on bills? Yes, we’re talking about the almighty credit score. It’s easy to forget about as you rack up holiday debt .. Which is why now is a good time to focus on how to improve it..

Here are five ways to start..

  1. Check to see what your score is … and what’s on your credit report. It’s the best way to discover any errors that could negatively impact you.
  2. If you have credit cards, use them! Just don’t max them out. Even small on-time payments each month can boost your credit score.
  3. Leave old accounts open. When you finally pay off those student loans or car payments .. Keep them open to keep your maximum credit limit higher. It lowers your utilization ratio which boosts your score.
  4. You can even call your accounts that you’ve been paying on for years. Request they increase your credit limit which optimizes your utilization.
  5. Only apply for credit you truly need. Every time you apply its a hard inquiry which lowers your score temporarily.