Finance Quick Answers
How many credit cards should I have?
Is your wallet fat with credit cards and your mailbox stuffed with statements? If you think having so much credit will help you build a good credit rating, think again. Having more than 2 or 3 credit cards may actually hurt your credit rating, according to Maxine Sweet, vice-president for Consumer Education at Experian, one of the credit bureaus that provides credit reports on consumers to businesses.
Sweet says that having a minimal number of cards but
using them in a steady but judicious manner is all
that’s needed to build a good credit rating. Having too
many cards may result in denial of credit if you already
have a big credit debt. Even if you don’t, the amount of
available credit may cause potential creditors to turn
you down. So trim back to two or three cards at the
Source: Odious task #4 -juggling credit cards. (1998, January). Forecast 98, 92.
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Sunday, July 27, 2008