12/24/2010 08:44 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Are You on Santa's Naughty or Nice Credit List?

As Santa gets prepared, you should be thinking about which list you'll be on when it comes to your credit. Being on the Nice List means you've:
  • Ensured that a retail card meets your overall needs, and not just your desire for quick savings.
  • Avoided "shopping yourself into debt" by setting limits before walking into glamorous stores.
  • Checked your billing lists twice (just like Santa!) to be sure all your payments were made on time.
  • Reviewed your FICO score and saw that it increased or at least stayed the same.
Being on the Naughty List means you've:
  • Paid a few credit cards late, and have new late payments on your credit report.
  • Maxed out your credit cards (even though you're intention was to spend only half of what you went shopping for).
  • Not looked at your credit report.
Which list do you think you'll be on this year? If you've been naughty, the good news is that there's still time to get on Santa's good side. Go get your credit reports, return what you didn't want to purchase, and sign up for automatic payments. You'll be back on Santa's Nice List in no time.

I spoke with Shon Dellinger, Vice President of, who emphasized, "Your credit score is inextricably linked to your financial health, yet the responsible credit management some have stuck to all year can be damaged in no time over the holidays." For more information on achieving healthy holiday credit, check out

Happy Holidays, and please e-mail me with any credit