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New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-04-2009
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How many CC is too many?

After years of fixing my credit, raising it from 489 up to 784 (EQ FICO, as of yesterday) I finally applied for, and was approved for, a decent credit card with a good rewards program. The new card has a $5000 limit on it (the highest that I have ever been approved for). After getting this card, and finding a place for it in my wallet, I realized that I now have 8 credit cards. 3 of the cards have limits less than $700, with interest over 20%. These were "rebuilding my credit" type cards, and I haven't used any of them in over a year. Two are store cards (Home Depot and GEMB Mattress Firm) with decent limits, but again I haven't used them in quite some time. These 5 cards are all PIF. I have two CC from major banks, with about 15% interest rates, and decent limits ($1500 and $2600). One is 0 balance, the other has only about $500. My new card has $5000 limit, with fixed 7.99% for the first year. My util is about $500 out of $12850, or about 3.8 %.

 

My question is, do I have too many cards? Does the number of open accounts affect your score, or only util %? Should I close some of the low limit, high interest cards, even though they have $0 balance, and no annual fees? My two worst cards are Orchard Bank with a $300 limit and 28% interest, and a Juniper with $500 limit and 26% interest. I never use these cards, but they are the two oldest cards that I own (both around 3 years old).

 

Am I in any danger having this many credit cards?

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 401
Registered: ‎02-23-2009
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Re: How many CC is too many?

That's too many.

Having 6-10 credit cards is wayyy too much.

 

3-4 credit card is the MAX..

 

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Posts: 1,285
Registered: ‎06-09-2008
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Re: How many CC is too many?

I think you'll find a wide variety of answers to this one here.  The number of accounts you have open does matter in your score, but not nearly as much as other factors like late payments and utilization.  Generally, I think you should have enough accounts so less than half of your total accounts (including installment loans) show a balance each month, and few enough cards that you can manage them without causing late payments or having them closed because of disuse.  I have 4 CCs and I'm happy with that number in terms of my access to credit, my ability to manage all of them, and having less than half of my accounts report a balance each month.

 

The positive information from your rebuilder cards will remain on your report for 10 years, so you should definitely take a look at the "Closing Credit Cards" sticky and, if they have an annual or monthly fee, consider removing them from your portfolio.  Why throw that money away when you don't need them anymore?

 

Overall, I think a lot of this decision is personal, so hopefully others will give you their thoughts to so you can do what is best for you, good luck!

Established Contributor
Posts: 674
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
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Re: How many CC is too many?

A lot of people might answer this one differently. It all depends on you, the person. I currently have 8 cards.

 

Four are going down as soon as I can steal away from my busy life to close them. I will then only have: JCPenney's, CareCredit (GEMB), CCCU, Pentagon FCU, and Discover More Card.

 

I really love my CCCU and Pentagon FCU.

 

Cory

 

 

Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,831
Registered: ‎04-20-2007
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Re: How many CC is too many?

If the rebuilder cards are your oldest lines and cost no annual fee just use them every couple of months for meager charges PIF and you'll be good to go. You don't have that many cards. No need to close anything as far as I can see.
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Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: How many CC is too many?

[ Edited ]

CreditCard101 wrote:

That's too many.

Having 6-10 credit cards is wayyy too much.

 

3-4 credit card is the MAX..

 



I disagree. It very much depends on the individual, and on what else is going on.

For instance, if someone has SL's that haven't been consolidated yet, they might have 8 open installment accounts. To avoid the "too many accounts with balances" ding, they might want 10 CC's. I'm not saying that should be done, but it's a reason to.

The answer to "How many CC is too many?" is however many make you uncomfortable, scared, or frazzled.

It's not uncommon for those new to credit, or those rebuilding, to have a lot of cards. But I often see that many of our older members (in credit years) only have 4-6. They've pared off the duds along the way, and stuck with the cards that work best for them.

If you're thinking of closing cards, please read fused's "Closing Credit Cards", linked in my siggy below.



edit: cna't splel
Message Edited by haulingthescoreup on 09-01-2009 04:12 PM
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,726
Registered: ‎03-11-2009
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Re: How many CC is too many?


Cory wrote:

 

I really love my CCCU

 

Cory

 

 


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Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,923
Registered: ‎04-19-2009
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Re: How many CC is too many?


haulingthescoreup wrote:

CreditCard101 wrote:

That's too many.

Having 6-10 credit cards is wayyy too much.

 

3-4 credit card is the MAX..

 



I disagree. It very much depends on the individual, and on what else is going on.

For instance, if someone has SL's that haven't been consolidated yet, they might have 8 open installment accounts. To avoid the "too many accounts with balances" ding, they might want 10 CC's. I'm not saying that should be done, but it's a reason to.

The answer to "How many CC is too many?" is however many make you uncomfortable, scared, or frazzled.

It's not uncommon for those new to credit, or those rebuilding, to have a lot of cards. But I often see that many of our older members (in credit years) only have 4-6. They've pared off the duds along the way, and stuck with the cards that work best for them.

If you're thinking of closing cards, please read fused's "Closing Credit Cards", linked in my siggy below.



edit: cna't splel

Most definitely this! +1

 

Or if you ever want to carry a BT, or a auto loan, or a mortgage...

 

Of my four oldest accounts three are my doggiest: Direct Merchants Bank MC (HSBC) and 2 x Providian -> WaMu -> Chase. (The other is Macy's.) I closed one of the Chase accounts years ago to avoid a RJ, but it still has a balance so it behaves on my CBR's as if it was still open. I am so glad I never closed the other two at all and the one still putts along. They are the core of my current age strategy.

Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,214
Registered: ‎09-12-2008
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Re: How many CC is too many?

[ Edited ]

This is a relative question, and depends on the individual, their circumstances, income, expenses, uses, etc.

 

3-4 cards may work well for some, but is not my preference.

 

From a practical standpoint, 3-4 total revolving or CC cards does not provide the best FICO score.  IME, the best FICO come with 5 or more accounts.  I have run every conceivable scenario on the FICO ESTIMATOR as well as experimented in my own credit.  In every case, 5 or more accounts always provided a somewhat higher result.

 

Also, having only 3 accounts would have much more detrimental effect if one or two of them happened to be with a CCC that made portfolio or universall AA or account closures.

 

 

 

 

Message Edited by txjohn on 09-02-2009 03:47 AM

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