Member
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Registered: ‎10-03-2012
The right number of credit cards

Can anyone tell me the proper number of credit cards a person should carry to help increase credit score. Someone told me that three is the magic number. I currently have two, one is a cap one master card and the other a orchard Master Card. Both accounts have  300 limits. Can anyone give me direction .

Starting Score: 523- 9/24/12 FICO
Current Score: 609-4/05/13 FICO
Goal Score: 650


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Blogger
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Registered: ‎10-19-2012
Re: The right number of credit cards

That depends on where you are on the CC's journey. Smiley Happy

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Re: The right number of credit cards

Pghmg wrote:

Can anyone tell me the proper number of credit cards a person should carry to help increase credit score. Someone told me that three is the magic number. I currently have two, one is a cap one master card and the other a orchard Master Card. Both accounts have  300 limits. Can anyone give me direction .


Three is the absolute minimum, and there doesn't seem to be a cap on the max. But it depends on your management skills. Some people can manage 40+ cards very well, let them age, and get high 700s and into the 800 range over time. Personally, I would aim for 4-6 (currently have 6 now), because I'm aiming toward a perfect credit score one day. That doesn't mean though you can get great credit with more than that! It's all a matter of payment history, utilization, and age of accounts to get into the high ranges!

 

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Re: The right number of credit cards

Pghmg wrote:

Can anyone tell me the proper number of credit cards a person should carry to help increase credit score. Someone told me that three is the magic number. I currently have two, one is a cap one master card and the other a orchard Master Card. Both accounts have  300 limits. Can anyone give me direction .


You should only carry as many card as you need. You can build a solid credit with just one credit card. Do not buy into the belief that you need extra credit card to have excellent credit.

 

Also solid payment histroy is far more important than credit score. Credit score is just a number, it does not tell the big picture.

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Member
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Re: The right number of credit cards

Thanks for the credit advice. My goal is to qualify for my first mortgage by the summer of 2013. I'm afraid that if I apply for another credit card now it ill lower my score.

 

Starting Score: 523- 9/24/12 FICO
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Re: The right number of credit cards

Pghmg wrote:

My goal is to qualify for my first mortgage by the summer of 2013. 


With a current score of 560, you've got quite a ways to go to get a good rate on a mortgage. Instead of focusing on optimal number of cards, focus on clearing the baddies off your CRs.


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Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,197
Registered: ‎01-24-2010
Re: The right number of credit cards

Pghmg wrote:

Thanks for the credit advice. My goal is to qualify for my first mortgage by the summer of 2013. I'm afraid that if I apply for another credit card now it ill lower my score.

 


Two cards is enough, but a few more in the long run can help with utilization, and AAoA.    However, you should not get anymore until after the mortgage is done, as they can hurt you in the short term.

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Re: The right number of credit cards

brother7 wrote:

Pghmg wrote:

My goal is to qualify for my first mortgage by the summer of 2013. 


With a current score of 560, you've got quite a ways to go to get a good rate on a mortgage. Instead of focusing on optimal number of cards, focus on clearing the baddies off your CRs.


I hate to be blunt, but rate isn't the biggest worry with a 560 score - approval is.  I have never seen anyone get approved for a mortgage with a 560 score. 


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Re: The right number of credit cards

SnackTrader wrote:

brother7 wrote:

Pghmg wrote:

My goal is to qualify for my first mortgage by the summer of 2013. 


With a current score of 560, you've got quite a ways to go to get a good rate on a mortgage. Instead of focusing on optimal number of cards, focus on clearing the baddies off your CRs.


I hate to be blunt, but rate isn't the biggest worry with a 560 score - approval is.  I have never seen anyone get approved for a mortgage with a 560 score. 


+1. You really need to work on your scores if you want a mortgage in 6 months. 560 is downright horrible.
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Re: The right number of credit cards

Thank you for all the comments.. I completely understand  that  the score I have now is bad,, but its  better than where I came from just two and half months ago. I have been working on all of my baddies, removing inaccurate  information , paying all bills on time and along with managing the percentage usage of credit card usage of no more than 15%. Based on my work I'm sue I can reach my goal by summer 2013. My main question was just the number of credit cards in order to help me with the process.

Starting Score: 523- 9/24/12 FICO
Current Score: 609-4/05/13 FICO
Goal Score: 650


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