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Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

creditUser101
New Contributor

Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

Some online YouTubers like BeattheBush, CreditShufu, AskSebby etc maintain 18-20 credit cards. I am wondering if it's a good idea to follow their path if someone is responsible? Some of them even mentioned that in spite of having so many credit cards, their credit score is around 830-840s. Their credit age must be very short I am guessing because they keep applying for so many credit cards. I have an excellent credit score and currently have 8 credit cards and I don't have any debt. I never keep any balance on my cards and never pay any interest. I was wondering if it's a good idea to apply for so many credit cards (maybe at a pace of one or 2 in a year) if I can assure that there won't be any balances on any of the credit cards I am going to use in future? OR is the short credit age(because of so many credit cards) going to hurt me in future?

Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES 11
jamie123
Valued Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards


@creditUser101wrote:

Some online YouTubers like BeattheBush, CreditShufu, AskSebby etc maintain 18-20 credit cards. I am wondering if it's a good idea to follow their path if someone is responsible? Some of them even mentioned that in spite of having so many credit cards, their credit score is around 830-840s. Their credit age must be very short I am guessing because they keep applying for so many credit cards. I have an excellent credit score and currently have 8 credit cards and I don't have any debt. I never keep any balance on my cards and never pay any interest. I was wondering if it's a good idea to apply for so many credit cards (maybe at a pace of one or 2 in a year) if I can assure that there won't be any balances on any of the credit cards I am going to use in future? OR is the short credit age(because of so many credit cards) going to hurt me in future?


There really isn't any advantage of having more than about 8 credit cards when it comes to scoring. Adding credit cards will however lower your Average Age of Accounts (Might lower your score) and you will get nicked a few points for having a new account the first year. To have scores in the 830s and 840s you need to have mostly older credit accounts on your reports. Everybody is different but I image that to get to 830 you would need an AAoA of at least 6 years.

The reason to get a new card in your case would be to utilize a starting offer like X amount of free miles if you spend $XXX in the first 3 months or 0% interest for the first 12 to 18 months.

As long as your score is above 760 you get the best interest rates from lenders on any of their products.

 

Remember...A great credit score will only save you money when you get an auto loan or mortgage by getting a low interest rate on the loan. There really isn't any other benefit to having a great credit score. (Besides bragging rights on this forum.)


Starting Score: EQ 653 6/21/12
Current Score: EQ 817 3/10/20 - EX 820 3/13/20 - TU 825 3/03/20
Message 2 of 12
stacyishere4u
Established Member

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

8 Credit cards are fine. Not everyone can maintain 18-20 credit cards efficiently. You're doing fine. Just keep one point in mind. Maintain a credit utilization ratio of 8.9%. 

 

Sometimes, too many credit card applications hit hard inquiries on credit report and drop score. Remember, this point also. 

Hi! This is Stacy. A web enthusiast and a content editor. Looking forward to learn new things and share my knowledge.
Message 3 of 12
creditUser101
New Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

Thanks. I always maintain $0 balance on all of my credit cards. Could you elaborate why are you recommending to maintain 8.9% credit utilization ratio?

Message 4 of 12
creditUser101
New Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

Thanks for your answer.

Message 5 of 12
CreditGuyInDixie
Super Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

My guess is that IamThere meant to advise you to keep your utilization at less than 8.9%. When your total utilization crosses over 8.999% there is a scoring penalty, though of course it goes away as soon as the utilization becomes low again, so it's not a big deal.

 

To maintain a constant 8.9% would be challenging and expensive -- and it wouldn't help your score either. 

 

I notice that you say that you keep all your cards reporting at $0.  FICO levies a penalty for that as well.  All you need to do to avoid the all zero penalty is to have one card reporting a small balance.

Message 6 of 12
joe8185
Valued Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

For my own part, I currently have 10 cards, and I'm actually planning on trimming that a bit over the next few months by closing my Capital One secured card and, once my new QS Visa ages to 6 months, combining my older QS MC (making sure the balance is at zero) with the newer card. I'm in the middle of paying off my current balances (making sure to leave a small balance on one or two of my cards to avoid a scoring ding). I *might* get the Marvel Mastercard (which I like for its 3% cash back on media purchases, particularly bookstores) later this year once I've gardened for a few months and my scores have built up, but that'll likely be it until at least late next year (when I can apply for an Amex card, possibly the BCE) unless I get a good preapproval in the interim.

Ch 7 BK discharged 11/28/14, credit rebuild well advanced. FICO:TU 680 FICO 8 (3/2/19) or 687 FICO 9/EX 694 FICO 8/EQ 685 FICO 8 or 674 FICO 9 (NFCU 3/3/19), VS 3.0 10/17/18: TU 702/EX 699/EQ 698. $92.9k revolving credit as of 1/31/19; $1K NFCU cashRewards Visa, $2K BJ's Perks MC, $5.1k Discover It #1, $6.5k Discover It #2 (new 3/12/18), $3.5k Petal Visa, $6k Paypal 2% CB MC, $6k Amazon Prime Store Card, $6k Walmart Store Card, $7k Apple FCU Platinum Visa, $7k Penfed Power Cash Rewards Visa, $11.8k Overstock Store Card, $15K Care Credit, $16K Cap One QS Rewards Visa Signature, $10k PenFed used car loan, $5k Navient student loan, $12.7k Lending Club loan. Gardening: 3 months, 19 days as of 1/31/19. 24 HP inqs total as of 10/12/18: 10 TU, 9 EQ, 5 EX (about half over 1 year old).
Message 7 of 12
LionLaw
Frequent Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

Number of CC accounts really doesn’t have that much of an effect on your score. The one thing to keep in mind is that you will take a hit to your score if more than 50% of your cards report a balance every month, but you’ll also take a (smaller) hit if all of your accounts report a $0 balance. So, to maximize your score, you need to have at least two cards, and have a balance on only one of them.
Message 8 of 12
RobertEG
Legendary Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

While there is no public pronouncement by Fair Isaac that details exactly how many credit cards are "needed, ' or conversely, whether there is a number of cards above which no scoring benefit is obtained, published literature on the development of credit scorecards and algorithms generally treat files that have three or more revolving lines of credit as "thick" categorizations, and dont give additional points for having more than 3'ish revolving lines of credit.

Message 9 of 12
ytzak
Regular Contributor

Re: Maintaining 18-20 credit cards

     There is one point that I did not see mentioned on this thread. How does anyone juggle 18 to 20 cards effectively? It is imperative to remember that card issuers want you to use your card. How you responsibly use them, they don’t care. PIF or make minimum payments (up to certain limits) doesn’t seem to matter to them; BUT lack of use is a big deal. I’m not talking about bad use by immediately running up your balance to limit ratio then paying minimum monthly payments. Or having such a big hit that your CS changes significantly from what it was when the lender gave you the card; but simply using the card “regularly” as defined by the lender.

 

     There is no hard and fast time limit set, but there are enough threads that present the horror stories folks have had. Issuers tend to lower limits and even cancel good cards outright simply for lack of use. With 18 to 20 CCs it seems that it would take an Act of Congress just to keep track of what card you haven't used 4 or 5 months ago. Of course, lowering limits or cancelling cards could have a dramatic effect on your CS by changing your total utilization percentage. And it always seems to happen at the most inopportune time for the person affected.

 

Y

 

 

Current FICO 8 Scores:
EQ 792 (12/24/19), TU 819 (12/23/19), EX 824 (12/23/19)
EQ 788 (11/22/19), TU 817 (11/22/19), EX 828 (11/23/19)
EQ 772 (10/29/19), TU 799 (10/29/19), EX 808 (10.29/19)
Message 10 of 12
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