They are widespread knowledge, so we hear. Facts everyone carting plastic around in their wallets should know, by the lining of their hearts. You’re told, “Don’t have more than a few safety credit cards lying around!” Apparently, that’s taking the primrose path to financial ruin. Not so, though, say some experts.
The more credit you have is the better for your score, overall. Does that sound like complete crazy talk? Because it isn’t, however, ONLY if you exercise plenty of caution. Keep a good eye on your spending habits- don’t act out of impulse! - and make sure to make your payments right on time. Just because you have a lot of cards at your disposal, doesn’t mean you have to fall on your face and ruin your good credit score while at it.
Here’s something else to keep in mind: holding onto your oldest and dearest credit card, like you would some beloved family heirloom, is not necessarily a good thing. Yes, that’s true: how long you have had a certain card DOES contribute heavily to your credit score. But did you know, even once you cut up the card or cancel it, that credit card still affects your score for up to another decade?
Take a check-up of your current credit history. Are you in favorable standing? Do you pay your bills on time? Well, if you want to ditch some of your old cards, feel free to do so then. Perhaps their terms aren’t sitting well with you; it might be the right time to make the big leap then.
As with anything credit-related, be sure to be careful. That cannot be stressed enough, really. Make sure you look over your credit card offers with a fine-toothed comb; examine closely every speck of fine print. Double check that you know what your APR is and any fees attached to the card, such as balance transfers.
When you apply for new credit cards, yes, there is the potential to hurt your score. That is one piece of information that has its feet in reality. If you are going to be applying for a big school loan or mortgage in the near future, you may want to wait a little while, but it’s a chance you’ll have to take anyway. At least, if you are a safe spender and a responsible card-owner, your score will only be affected for six months. That, at least, is some good news worth spreading!