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Regular Contributor
GomerPyle
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎03-17-2009

How many cards to have?

After reading on this forum and others I have become concerned about maybe losing some

 

of my cards.(I have three) due to some of the crazy things card companies are doing.

 

  My scores are very good and I do not want to jeopardize

 

anything. Seriously, how many credit cards does a person really need? Should I have more

 

to protect myself? If so what should I apply for?

Mega Contributor
Creditaddict
Posts: 16,884
Registered: ‎10-23-2007

Re: How many cards to have?

3 with a store card is a pretty good number for scoring, but I have WAY MORE. it's really personal preference in the end and what your comfortable with and what you feel you need.
Fico Scores: EQ 620, TU 675 & EX 703 (4-1-14)
Joint Cards: Navy NavCheck $15000, Discover iT $9000, Macy Amex $4000, Macy Store $3000, Macy Furniture $5800
AU: Virgin America $8500, CSP $27,000, Fidelity Amex $25,000, AA Biz $25,000, Barclay USAir Biz $6640
Mine: Navy NavCheck $3000, Kay Jewelry $2700, Pottery Barn $2800, FleetCard MC Biz $1800, HSN $1500, Vitacost MC $1500, Navy Cash $1500 and nRewards $1500, Bill Me Later $772, Cap1 Sony $750, Cap1 Spark $750, Best Buy MC $750, GE 76 Gas $650, Von Maur $600, Cap1 QuickSilver $500, Burbank CU $500, Kohls $300, Target1 $300, Target2 $300, Buckle $250, Express $250, Target3 $200
Valued Contributor
Guardian
Posts: 1,148
Registered: ‎04-23-2008

Re: How many cards to have?

How much is too much is really a personal preference, as long as you are disciplined enough not to run up a huge util and you don't pay AF for any of the cards and their limits are reasonable, keeping them in a healthy state will not hurt you because they provide history and credit ratio for you. I know people who use and have like 4 cards and they have super high scores and the same have low ones and others who have 15-20 cards and have super high score and others who don't, I think it comes ultimately down to HOW you use your credit and how well.

Common Abbreviations|FDCPA|FCRA
Take the FICO Fitness ChallengeStarting Score: TU:695 - EQ:719 - EX:630
Current Score: TU:712 - EQ:755 - EX:712
Goal Score: TU:800 - EQ:800 - EX:800


Established Contributor
cartercorp
Posts: 851
Registered: ‎07-01-2008

Re: How many cards to have?


Guardian wrote:
How much is too much is really a personal preference,

Just curioous?? Can you be denied credit for having to many open cc accts? I have 16 accts open now but i would like to close 2 in june and open 3.

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Community Leader
Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,114
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: How many cards to have?


cartercorp wrote:

Guardian wrote:
How much is too much is really a personal preference,

Just curioous?? Can you be denied credit for having to many open cc accts? I have 16 accts open now but i would like to close 2 in june and open 3.



This is completely up to the lender. PenFed, for instance, will deny you if they think that you've been doing a lot of recent apping to increase your total CL without paying down your real debt. (They call this "pyramiding", so around here, we say this means that you're an Egyptian.)

It doesn't affect your FICO score, though, as long as you don't have debt reporting on lots of cards.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Valued Contributor
Guardian
Posts: 1,148
Registered: ‎04-23-2008

Re: How many cards to have?


cartercorp wrote:

Guardian wrote:
How much is too much is really a personal preference,

Just curioous?? Can you be denied credit for having to many open cc accts? I have 16 accts open now but i would like to close 2 in june and open 3.


Thanks for asking :smileytongue: Well I know for HSBC for example, they have a cap on how many cards you can have "through" them, I think its 7 at last check. So this is a small indicator that some do care how much you have and they don't like to have too much but then again that could just indicate that a single company likes to limit it, no way to know for absolute certain.

 

Before my BK almost a lifetime ago, won't bore you with the reasons that were health related, I had stellar credit. I mean easily 800 club and I could point to anything and I would be granted no questions asked. I had tons of credit, I mean TONS. But my score was stellar and I was a very disciplined and sort of boring, **bleep** retentive user of credit, I don't overuse, I don't like owing people, no matter who they are.

 

I think the key to my success despite the huge number of credit cards was that I was using them responsibly, not overdoing it, not getting over my head too much, I hedged my bets with equal amount of REAL assets, like liquid assets to offset the unsecured revolving credit and had it not been for some unethical people around me when I was hospitalized, the health matter alone probably wouldn't have sunk me but by the time I was back in charge of my things, 90k plus and no way to salvage it although I tried for nearly 18 months.

 

So in hindsight I guess, if I didn't have so much credit, I would have taken a smaller hit and probably been able to recover and restore it much faster and much more effectively than having to declare the BK, thank god it was under the old rule not the new, my student loans stuck around which didn't help because they count for 100% util against my available credit, so the only reason I have lots of large CLs now is to offset that a bit in my scoring and I keep the usage mellow and fairly steady and low if I can help it.

 

This time around, I limited myself to no more than 10 cards (revolving credit MC/Visa/Amex/Discover/etc.) and only keep the highest CLs, which means if a card drops to a certain level, I might keep it until I can replace it with something better and then cut it loose or just let it ride depending. No more than 3-5 store cards (Oldnavy/Carecredit/lenscrafters/etc.) and keep a steady amount of stable core assets (Savings/CDs/Money market/etc) that are not touched or rare touched as emergency funds and then some regular daily accounts (checking) with enough funds budgeted tightly to ensure maximum usability, and regular contributions of sizable amount to retirement/investment funds (IRAs/matched pension/retirement funds/well mixed stable/medium/aggressive investments/etc) for long term future planning mostly and plenty of life insurance for my wife/kids/family/any debts I might leave behind to ensure they are protected and provided for should I kick the bucket before expected.

 

Anyway, sorry didn't mean to go on so long but ultimately that's what I mean by personal preference, do you use credit to play the system in your favor or do you use it as a dependance and are at its mercy? This question for me a no brainer and protects me from every putting any more faith in it than it deserves. As long as it serves its purpose, I am happy and don't go beyond that. Hope that was a sufficiently complete answer to your question. But ultimately, to each their own :smileywink:


Common Abbreviations|FDCPA|FCRA
Take the FICO Fitness ChallengeStarting Score: TU:695 - EQ:719 - EX:630
Current Score: TU:712 - EQ:755 - EX:712
Goal Score: TU:800 - EQ:800 - EX:800


Established Contributor
cartercorp
Posts: 851
Registered: ‎07-01-2008

Re: How many cards to have?


haulingthescoreup wrote:


This is completely up to the lender. PenFed, for instance, will deny you if they think that you've been doing a lot of recent apping to increase your total CL without paying down your real debt. (They call this "pyramiding", so around here, we say this means that you're an Egyptian.)


LOL No Egyptian here.  I just want to be in a great position in June to app for Sears/H Depot/Costco Amex.

 

Established Contributor
cartercorp
Posts: 851
Registered: ‎07-01-2008

Re: How many cards to have?


Guardian wrote:

 do you use credit to play the system in your favor or do you use it as a dependance and are at its mercy? This question for me a no brainer and protects me from every putting any more faith in it than it deserves. As long as it serves its purpose,


Great Question for me. I have about a 3 % ulti today and im far from being dependant on them. I have a few cards that i will never use (NEVER). And i will close them on there 1 yr B-day.

Valued Contributor
Guardian
Posts: 1,148
Registered: ‎04-23-2008

Re: How many cards to have?


cartercorp wrote:

Guardian wrote:

 do you use credit to play the system in your favor or do you use it as a dependance and are at its mercy? This question for me a no brainer and protects me from every putting any more faith in it than it deserves. As long as it serves its purpose,


Great Question for me. I have about a 3 % ulti today and im far from being dependant on them. I have a few cards that i will never use (NEVER). And i will close them on there 1 yr B-day.


Good for you, the less you depend on them, the less power they have to screw you over and destroy your hard earned progress.


Common Abbreviations|FDCPA|FCRA
Take the FICO Fitness ChallengeStarting Score: TU:695 - EQ:719 - EX:630
Current Score: TU:712 - EQ:755 - EX:712
Goal Score: TU:800 - EQ:800 - EX:800


Regular Contributor
favor4me2
Posts: 138
Registered: ‎03-05-2008

Re: How many cards to have?

Hi Guardian, my question is how long ago was your BK and how did you get Amex and Discover after a Bk. Is it still showing on your credit reports? and what kind of BK was it?

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