02/09/2010 10:30 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Keeping the Love Alive With Your Credit

Every relationship takes work. While we all want the love to be there when we need it, ignoring your relationship, even just a little, can spark the beginning of the end. The same is true for your relationship with your credit.

Here are some ways to keep the love alive and to keep that credit relationship thriving:

Be on Time:
Pay your bills when they're due. Whether it's a mortgage, car loan, or credit card, being on time with your payments will keep your report staying strong.

Maintain a Healthy Balance:
Maxed out credit will bring down your score. Work to stabilize that healthy credit you've worked for by keeping your balances to 20% of the high limit on revolving accounts.

Keeping the Spark Alive:
While having a number of open accounts is good, inactivity on them is not. A healthier credit score depends on using your accounts. To give your report that extra glow, mix it up by pulling out some of those old store credit cards once in a while.

Taking the Long View:
An enduring credit relationship depends on having long terms credit goals. When you apply for credit, remember you will be building a history with that creditor.

Yes, credit is a lot like love. We all want it. We all need it. But it's a two way street, and finding ways to maintain it is the key.