Do You Have Too Many Credit Cards?

Most Americans carry between five and ten credit cards, with many people carrying many more. Is this too many? Experts agree that there is no number of credit cards that is right for everyone. The number of credit cards you have can affect your credit rating, however. The more cards you have, the more risk you carry for increasing your overall debt. Opening a new credit account can also hurt your credit. Every time you apply for and receive a new credit card, your credit score drops by about 20 points.

So what is a good rule of thumb? Two to six credit cards should be sufficient for anyone. Try to pay them off regularly and keep your debt ratio low, generally under 50 percent. This means that your balances do not exceed 50 percent of your open credit limits. Creditors look unfavorably on consumers who have most of their credit cards near or at the limit. Not having too many cards also makes it easier to keep track of payments, making it less likely to make a late payment.

If you have many credit cards and wish to cancel some of them, be sure not to do it all at once. This will cause your debt-to-credit ratio to rise too sharply.

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Amarillo, TX 79109
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