How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?

How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?


Although credit cards are convenient and useful, they can lead users down the rabbit hole of debt if they're not used responsibly. Limiting the number of credit cards you have will help you avoid debt, limit your annual fees, and maintain a healthy credit score. However, responsibly using more than one credit card conveys reliability and creditworthiness. Taking all of this into account, you may be wondering: how many credit cards should you have? Is there a magic number? What are the consequences of having too few credit cards? What would happen if you filled your entire wallet with them? Let's explore the pros and cons.

The Risks of Having Too Many

Before you get another credit card, stop and ask yourself why you need it. If you're not responsible, collecting too many credit cards could greatly harm your financial health. For one thing, the more cards you have, the greater your chances of going into debt, simply because you'll have more opportunity and a higher line of credit. Second, remember that annual fees from multiple cards can really add up. Avoid cards with annual fees if possible. Finally, it can be difficult to keep track of multiple credit card balances and bills. Will you be able to handle the responsibility?

The Risks of Having Too Few

It is important for all adults to establish a healthy credit history in order to have a good credit score. So, you should have at least one credit card to establish credit and prove your creditworthiness. Additionally, credit agencies use many factors to create your credit score, including card utilization, which is the amount of debt you're carrying versus the amount of credit available to you. Most experts recommend that you keep this number around 20-30% or lower. Depending on your spending habits and your line of credit, you might struggle to keep your card utilization at 20-30% with only one credit card. Consider having at least two credit cards simply to expand your line of credit.

The Sweet Spot

Unfortunately, there is not a magic number when it comes to credit cards. Most experts recommend that responsible adults carry between two and six credit cards. However,if you have trouble keeping track of your credit card balances and paying your bills on time, it's perfectly acceptable to keep only one credit card. Similarly, if you're extremely responsible with credit cards and always pay your bills on time and in full, there's no reason why you can't have more than six credit cards. Simply having a large number of credit cards will not negatively impact your credit score.

 

Above all, remember this: the number of credit cards you have is far less important than how you're managing your credit cards. Management and responsibility is the key. Be honest with yourself: Will you be tempted to use more credit if you have more credit cards? Will you be able to juggle several credit cards without getting buried in debt? How many credit cards do you truly need? The decision is yours!

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