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Too Many Credit Cards Can Ruin Your Credit History

[Saturday, February 26th, 2011]

Take a look at plastics in your wallet. How many do you have? One, three or maybe ten? Sometimes our furious efforts to find the deals with better options result in a growing number of plastics in our wallets. According to statistics, the majority of American borrowers have between six and ten credit cards. There are also consumers, who carry a tremendous amount of plastics, i.e. 40 and even more. The question is: What is the manageable amount of credit cards? And what impact do they have on your lending history?

In fact, there is no universal amount of plastics. Many factors influence our credit card deals. Even specialists cannot give a definite answer to this question. Still, there is a huge risk of carrying too many, as it becomes almost impossible to keep them under control.
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Department store cards turn out to be extremely alluring during holiday seasons. Consumers open lots of them in order to get a 10% or 20% discount on their purchases. It makes sense only if you are a frequent client of some particular shop. But don’t lose common sense, you don’t need so many store plastics with eye-popping interest rates and fees that eat up your discounts and rewards.

On a conservative estimate, the average American has seven credit cards of various types. “I love my plastics! It’s very convenient for me!” says Betty Stein, 31. “It helps me to monitor my spending and I really enjoy rewards credit cards with fabulous options! Isn’t it cool?”

There are also high-income holders, who have more than forty plastics at a time. Some of them share the opinion that the more cards you have, the better. They can really afford it and banks appreciate such clients most of all.

The major problem of having a great number of plastics is a mere inconvenience. Even if you have just a few, it may be problematic to cope with all the bills and payments. Some holders, especially not experienced ones, feel confused to choose the right card in certain situations.

For example, they use their balance transfer plastics for purchases. As a result, they face pretty high interest rates, not to mention a risk of getting up to the ears in debts. All this can damage their lending history and it takes time to repair it.

As a rule, it takes time and efforts to build good credit history and enjoy the best credit card deals. Having a lot of plastics implies a huge risk of late fees. Let’s say, you have fifteen. To keep all the due dates will be next to impossible. It will be really hard to manage your multiple accounts.

Like it or not, it’s very essential to keep our debt ratio low. If your spending limit is $3,000, your balance should be no more than $1,000. If it’s not the best option for you, you can split up this sum into two cards. Moreover, credit card companies are not so fond of customers, who use too much credit. Sometimes they can even penalize you for that, and it will be marked in your lending report.

It is recommended to have as many plastics as you can handle. Depending on your needs, this amount can vary between two and six. You should also bear in mind some rules of thumb, like making regular payments and monitoring your credit monthly statements.

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