How Many Credit Cards is Too Many?

by : Court Tuttle

Is there such a thing as too many credit cards? Yes and no. There can be. Honestly, it goes both ways.

Most people would agree, though, that they are at a higher risk of getting into debt that they cannot escape if they own more cards than they can control. Having so much can be too tempting, and many people have given in to that temptation, spending more than they can pay back and ending up with debt up to their earlobes.

This is why it is often difficult to keep, or build up to, a good credit score. Creditors look at how many cards you have and almost automatically see a potential threat that you will not be able to pay off your debt.

This automatically decreases your score, and it also may make it difficult to receive other forms of credit, like a loan, or a mortgage. So how do you escape the automatic assumption that just because you have a lot of cards, you cannot pay your debt?

Well, there are some cases in which people do not have a bad credit score, even when they have several credit cards. What did these people have that those with even a few cards did not? A good credit history. That and regular payments helps your credit score either stay in the high numbers, or increase to where you want it to be.

So how do you know how many credit cards you can have? How many you can handle is up to you. If you have a large number in your wallet and are confused as to why you are having difficulty paying your bills on time, you may want to cut down a bit.

Your spending habits and our monthly income are what determine how many credit cards you can have without letting your debt get out of control, and how well you control your debt is what will determine your score.

How do you build up a good history? If you are just starting to get familiar with credit, you should probably start out with a low number of credit cards, if not one. Aquiring too many at once will make you appear as a potential over-spender, and even worse, someone who will not be able to pay their bills.

By starting out low and using your credit card wisely (like paying your bills on time and paying them off frequently) you will eventually prove that you can handle credit cards carefully and result in a very good credit history, allowing for you to build up to an excellent score.

How can you show creditors that you're dependable with your credit cards? Always pay in full and on time.

The thing that will hurt your credit score the most is having frequent occurrences where you make your payments late. Paying your bills on time every time will show that whether you have one or fifty credit cards, you can pay back the money that you borrowed on those cards.