Hi pushed, that's a question talked about a lot here. For optimal FICO scoring considering the fewest cc's you could have, the general consensus is a minimum of 3. Some say 2. I say 4. lol.
Don't you love a diversity of opinion here?
Many of us have only 4 or 5 cards. Then lots of others have upwards of 20. Some 30. I myself have 16: 10 bank cards, 5 store cards, and one gas card. I have about 4 cards to many, and plan on closing them in the coming months.
The number is what ever you can safely manage, and oversee on a continuing basis. There is no magic number you can have. It's what ever works best for you.
I travel out of the country for about 5 -6 months out of the year. My Discover card does not do me much good as a lot of overseas markets do not accept it. I was thinking about getting one more Visa or MC to go with the Capital One MC that I already have.
The real problem is that I plan on getting a house in about 6 months. I do not want all these hard inq hitting my reports right now. Especially not a new cc account...
Once you have good cards with decent CL's, I'd say that you should have three bank cards anyway (CU's are great, if you also have one or two from a "national bank" like Citi, BofA, etc), plus one retail or gas card that does not have Visa, MC, etc on it. The majors should be from different lenders, in case one loses their mind, or goes bankrupt, or is invaded by Martians or something.
When people are building or re-building, they often have more --a lot more! --because the CL's are so pitiful that they need a bunch just to get any momentum going. Once scores start improving and they can get better cards, many start consolidating and closing the doofus cards.
Plenty of people with good scores and reports have a bunch more than that, but if you're not into plastic, the 3 + 1 quality cards ought to work.
* 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
My scores have a lot of inaccuracies in them right now. They are bad but I am working on them.
I have one 120 day late Nov 07 (where from I do not know) that will be taken off this month
I have one 30 day late Jan 05 that will be taken off this month
I have one of my ex CC on my account (99% util and 1 30 day late Sep 06) that should be coming off
I have a GW letter out to Discover to drop the only 30 day late on that account (2 years old)
I have a GW letter out to Regions Bank to drop the 60 dya late from 2005 (student loan)
I have 3 CAs....two of them are my ex-wifes that I can get no cooperation on....
I have one major derog in that I let my ex's car get repo'd...stupid of me as I ended up paying $$$$ money to get it back. GMAC shows me current for 13 months and notes the account as REDEEMED. I am thinking about trying to GW this...can't hurt.
CC util is now 9% down from 79%. Waiting for scores to update.
No late payments (after the corrections) for 3 years.
Anyway, I expect to see scores in the 650's in a couple of months. (they are too embarassing to show now)
When you say you have lates in '05 and '07 that are dropping off, I am kinda confused. Is this because the CCC is GWing them away? If not, derogs remain for 7 years, and thus have a good bit of time remaining as derogs on your score.
My research so far over the past year has concluded 4+ cards to be the minimum. However the gain between 3 and 4 was very small. 2 was a bad number with some other scoring models. 1 is just not enough. I am down to 13 cards I think. I consolidated a few and canceled a few. I had around 20 credit cards for a while. The extra plastic in the long run holds up average age, but as far as point gain, I didn't see it.
My optimum calculation is 4 or more. And never less than 3.
Having more doesn't hurt anything but average age today, while they're very important to build average age later. So I say if you want more go a head. Just consider short term average age drops if you need your score up today.
If you are playing for the future, more plastic will hold up average age to get you in to the 800s later. I kept all my old ones just for age points. As far as how many is best to keep up average age? How many can you apply for, lol, don't actually do that. 4-10 is fine. (4 for optimum + more to hold up avg age years later, but you will need to wait years for those avg age points)
Message Edited by ilovepizza on 03-13-200810:20 PM
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