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In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?

LadyFICO
Moderator Emeritus

In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?

I have ten cards all unsecure but subprime with no balance higher than $850. Most have a $300 limit. I know my fico is affected because it says too many cards with balances. But I also pay on time which is keeping the score going up and I have a blend of installment loans auto, and furniture. The cards I know are holding me back because of them being maxed which is easy to do on low limit cards. But, I have seen the forums and have paid them all down and awaiting results. But now I wonder if in this scenario bringing ten cards from max to individually under 10-25% is going to give the big boost or am I still going to take a major hit for having so many cards? The total debt itself was only $4000 and is now under $700 which if math is correct total util under 20% Any thoughts?
Message 1 of 7
6 REPLIES 6
Brammy
Moderator Emeritus

Re: In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?



LadyFICO wrote:
I have ten cards all unsecure but subprime with no balance higher than $850. Most have a $300 limit. I know my fico is affected because it says too many cards with balances. But I also pay on time which is keeping the score going up and I have a blend of installment loans auto, and furniture. The cards I know are holding me back because of them being maxed which is easy to do on low limit cards. But, I have seen the forums and have paid them all down and awaiting results. But now I wonder if in this scenario bringing ten cards from max to individually under 10-25% is going to give the big boost or am I still going to take a major hit for having so many cards? The total debt itself was only $4000 and is now under $700 which if math is correct total util under 20% Any thoughts?


 
First of all the low limits themselves will hurt you.  Do these cards have annual fees? These I would start closing from the highest cost bast on the card, that includes interest rates annual fees and maintenance fess.  Having that many cards, especially with the subprime limits may prevent you from getting other offers.  What ever you do, when you close them make sure that the missing line of credit doesn't take you over 30%. You're at 17 right now.
 
Once you get them paid down, ask for limit increases on your existing cards, with them being maxed out like that some of those issuers may require a few months before they are willing to consider.  If you can get down to one s/p card with low utilization, offers should start coming in.
 
I always felt that the s/p cards were ridiculous, I went three of the past 6.5 years without a card of any sort.  I should have opened one, even a secured one to start building credit sooner just couldn't bring myself to pay the fees.
 
Even if you don't close them, now that their down to 20%, start bring them down to 0 one by one.  Not only can high utilization hurt you but carrying balances on too many cards can too.  You will be surprised how those small limits will start to increase when you don't use the card. 
 
As far as closing them, try closing the ones with the annual fee on the anniversay date, call i on the statement, but make sure its 0, that shows the annual fee.  Let them know you would like to close the card, they may waive the annual fee which would make the card worth keeping another year for the account age.  If they don't cancel it.  I did that with my first s/p card and immediately after closing it started getting bombarded with offers from their parent company.  Finally accepted the last one with a 7.5K limit, my largest one to date.  Low interest rate and 2% cash back to boot.
 
I would D6 anything that has a monthly maintenance fee sooner then later keeping over all utilization in mind. 
 
HTH
 
You've read my history I don't have one card with an annual fee now and my lowest real limit is 2500.00.  As far as calling to close, I wasn't aware of Cap1s rep before I applied, got a really low limit card called the first time to cancel it and they double the limit.  I use it and PIF before the statement date all but 5.00 which is paid on the due date.  For the past three months they have increased my credit limit 500.00/mo.... go figure
 
Stop applying especially when it guarantees a min limit of 300.00.  Don't apply for a new card if it isn't beting the interest rate on your current cards by at least 2-3% and a good BT offer aint bad or other perks such as cash back.  That's they way I decide when and if to apply for new credit.



Message Edited by Brammy on 04-14-2007 08:38 PM
Message 2 of 7
LadyFICO
Moderator Emeritus

Re: In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?

Do you remember what your credit scores were whenyou closed the subprime cards and started getting better offers. My scores are still low but I have all ca and so to a zero balance. The youngest is two years old with the rest being almost 7. So I am looking forward to some boosts anyway in the next 2-3 months and now I'm hoping the lower util on 10 cards will give me what I need to get a home.
Message 3 of 7
Brammy
Moderator Emeritus

Re: In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?



LadyFICO wrote:
Do you remember what your credit scores were whenyou closed the subprime cards and started getting better offers. My scores are still low but I have all ca and so to a zero balance. The youngest is two years old with the rest being almost 7. So I am looking forward to some boosts anyway in the next 2-3 months and now I'm hoping the lower util on 10 cards will give me what I need to get a home.


 
That was when my scores were high fives.  I was carrying too large a balance and it was my only card with a limit of 1500.00. Once I paid it down the offers started coming in.  I closed it the same day I applied for WaMu.  Lady F, my EQ score was 623 in January, just two months ago.  My WaMu was my oldest open account at 6mos. Now its 680+.  I had been approved for WaMu at that score but it took time to age to have an affect on my score.





Message Edited by Brammy on 04-14-2007 10:20 PM
Message 4 of 7
TheNewWorldMan
Valued Contributor

Re: In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?

My FICOs range from 592 to 677, and I still get only lousy offers (obscene fees--we're talking over $100 just to start) or fully secured. I do have three unpaid charge-offs. Even though paying charge-offs does nothing to improve FICO, I have heard anecdotal evidence that paying charge-offs makes you more apt to get approved for CCs with a reasonable annual fee, and for credit-line increases on existing cards.

My charge-offs total around $900. Unfortunately, I don't have enough spare cash to justify testing that theory at this time. Perhaps later in the year...
- - - -
in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
Message 5 of 7
LadyFICO
Moderator Emeritus

Re: In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?

Thanks for all your feedback so it seems like the mid six range is not impossible in 2-3 months. Since I rid my report of anything unpaid and paid credit cards down and I will follow your advice to get them all down below 10 util. I hope to be sitting with the big dogs soon. I'll keep you posted on the progress. I saw that new world man said he still gets not so good offers is it the charge offs that he still says are unpaid? His scores are fair to good aren't they?
Message 6 of 7
patunia00
New Member

Re: In FICO World what is too many credit cards and how is score impacted?

Hey there Brammy,
 
Can you tell me what the name of the s/p card was?  I have one with a zero balance and I want to close it due to a high annual fee, I was told by the card company to hold onto it until the anniverssary date and then maybe they would waive the annual fee, but if closing it may get me better credit offers I would do it in a heartbeat, what do you think?
Message 7 of 7
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