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How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many? Credit Score Resources

Does having too many credit cards affect your credit score?

Do you fall into the national average? According to recent data, the average U.S. consumer actively uses three credit cards.

However, three is not the magic number. In fact, there is no magic number when it comes to how many credit cards you should have. The number of credit cards that you have is not, by itself, an indicator of your credit score.

Having too much credit vs. utilizing too much credit

Your credit score isn't affected by how many credit cards you have, but by how you use those credit cards.

If you have high balances on all of your credit cards, you are utilizing too much credit and this can hurt your credit score. If your debt-to-credit ratio is too high, your credit score could fall.

Other ways too many credit cards can affect your credit score

In addition to high balances, there are other ways that too many credit cards can damage your credit score, including:

  • Late or missed payments
  • Charge offs or collection accounts
  • Opening too many accounts at once

The bottom line is that no matter how many credit cards you have, if you use them wisely, you will not hurt your credit score.

Know what's on your credit report

Whether you use one credit card or twenty, you need to know what is on your credit report.

You need to know if you have:

  • Old credit card accounts that you forgot about and that have balances or collection notices. You need to deal with any negative account issues.
  • Credit card accounts that you never opened. This is a sign of identity theft and needs to be handled immediately.
  • Conflicting information between credit reports from different credit-reporting agencies.

For an easy way to review your credit standing, sign up for a PrivacyGuard trial membership. You can see all three scores, get credit card protection, and protect yourself from identity theft.

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