Assuming you are responsible with your credit, is there any drawbacks to applying as many credit cards as you humanly can when you are 18?
I am responsible with my credit card and so is my brother. We both pay back in full every month and have never carried a balance (not to mention late payment)
I am in the process of getting him to apply for as many credit cards as he can while he it still 18. For example, 10-12 this year. By the time he is 23-24 and finished college, he will have 10-12 credit cards with an average account age of 5-6 years and possibly a credit limit of $20K.
By the time he is ready for a mortgage, say age 30, he will have 12-15 credit cards with an average account age of 11-12 and possibly a credit limit of $40-50K.
The way I see it is, when you are 18, you can't afford an auto loan, you definitely can't afford a mortgage....so why not apply to 30-40 credit card companies (sure you will get rejected by half of them) but when you finish school, you will have a nice portfolio of cards with decent history.
What are the drawbacks to this? (assuming you are responsible with credit)
My advice: start off with one card, something that's practical and will be used. He's a student with a job so a student card which generally has more relaxed underwriting requirements would be a good choice. I would suggest Citi Forward for College Students.
Six months down the road, add another card, say Discover it for Students.
Then every six months, evaluate spending patterns and consider adding a new card to fulfill a certain need, such as a card with gas rewards or a particular store card where you shop a lot or a Walmart Discover card to get a free monthly TU score.
According to this myFICO infographic on FICO high achievers (those with FICO 785 or higher), high achievers have an average of 7 credit cards. I think that's a good number of cards to have.
Credit is not a race it's a journey. Slow and steady wins the race.