Personal Finance

is it good or bad to have alot of credit cards???

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  • Sep 24th, 2007 11:15 am
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Sep 5, 2007
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is it good or bad to have alot of credit cards???

Hoping that someone can explain this.

I think I have great credit -- that is until I read some of the postings here.

I just got my equifax report. Everything is listed as R1 -- the highest rating --meaning I am paid and up to date. But there is no number for my rating so I don't know what that is. Also when I opened an account with TD last year, the clerk looked at my report and said 'wow you have good credit, REALLY good credit!'

But I have 5 credit cards and now after reading some of the postings, I'm wondering if I should get rid of some of them??? Will getting rid of the ones I don't use improve or lower my credit rating?? I am confused. :confused: I thought by keeping them my credit rating would go up. (Long story as to why I have so many -- you know, promotions, PC points, AirMiles etc. etc. which I wanted initially but once the offer expired, I no longer really need them.)

Thanks for any input! :)
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Jul 4, 2005
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I was told it was bad to have a lot of credit cards. You're more of risk with so much funds available to you. I think it may depend on your income and expenses as to how many cards are too many.
Not sure.
Sr. Member
Sep 5, 2005
973 posts
Ottawa
2 or 3 is sufficient. If you're carrying a balance on all 5 cards, then it's a problem. Note that closing existing credit cards or lowering your credit limits could negatively affect your credit score, because the score is given based on your debt/available credit ratio. If you keep the same amount of debt, but get rid of a card or two, that ratio increases (for a short period of time anyway).
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Sep 18, 2007
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Trinidad & Tobago
The good credit report would come in handy when you want to take out a loan from the bank, since they know that you can keep up-to-par with your debts.

The disadvantage of having so many cards however is that if you're spending from all of them, it would become difficult to keep track and pay them off.

Since the offers have expired, you should get rid of them. I don't think that would lower your credit rating. Ask your bank to confirm.

But I guess once you have all of your expenses under control, then it shouldn't be a problem to keep them either!
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Jan 19, 2007
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The only point of having many if you ask for a mortgage as that's a deep-pocket expense that usually strain somebody's credit worthiness and some banks can require you to close some of those with high-credit limit to finalize the mortgage.
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Sep 5, 2005
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Income doesn't really affect your credit score. There is very little correlation between income, and credit worthiness. Debt as a percentage of credit, and your past payment history are usually the biggest factors when it comes to scoring.
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Jun 14, 2003
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You can have a few credit cards but you don't need to carry all of them. You just put one each from each brand which has the best reward/feature in your wallet. Put the rest in the drawer and use that as backup or take advantage of them when there is a promotion.

Backup is important because if you lose you wallet, you don't lose all your credit cards.
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gman wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2007 12:52 pm
You can have a few credit cards but you don't need to carry all of them. You just put one each from each brand which has the best reward/feature in your wallet. Put the rest in the drawer and use that as backup or take advantage of them when there is a promotion.

Backup is important because if you lose you wallet, you don't lose all your credit cards.
No I don't carry all of them, only one. The rest I leave at home. I don't even use all of them just the one MC really and sometimes Visa when MC not accepted.

And I DON"T carry a balance on them. Which is why I was considering cancelling them. But I"m still not clear from the postings if this is a good idea or not.

Sorry, I'm still confused:confused :confused:
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Jul 28, 2005
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ariell wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2007 1:52 pm
Sorry, I'm still confused:confused :confused:
Your bank told you have a great credit score. You haven't mentioned being turned down for a loan, or anything similar.

You need to relax.

Maybe canceling a few credit cards might drop you credit score by a few points. Maybe not canceling your credit cards might drop you score by a few points. Whatever.

There's no need to be concerned about a couple points on your credit score when you've been told you have great credit and have mentioned no problems getting credit. If you want to cancel a few cards, then cancel them. If not, then don't. The chances are remarkably high it's going to have no effect on your life.
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Jul 31, 2007
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You need to relax, you are fine.

In general closing the credit cards will harm your credit score. The reason is that part of your score is based on the debt-to-credit ratio. If you reduce the amount of credit available to you, but don't reduct the debt accordingly, your debt-to-credit ratio increases.

But notice that I said "in general". If you haven't used a card for 5 years, it won't be counted towards your debt-to-credit ratio anyways, so canceling them would have no effect.

A more interesting question is: is there any harm in keeping them? Well, given that you don't use them, don't carry them, and don't carry a balance on them, I would say that they do no harm. For other people it might be bad to have 5 credit cards because they start using them and then end up with a lot of debt and can't keep track of it. But that's not you.

You are clearly doing well, so just leave everything the way it is. If you need more to calm your fears, you can buy a copy of your credit score. It's not too expensive ($25 I think). In addition to the credit score, the report will tell you what your score means and what you can do to improve your score. If the report doesn't say that you have too many lines of credit (and I suspect it won't), then don't worry about them.
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Jan 20, 2007
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I have 2. I switched due to the reward bonus and haven't used the first one I got for months.
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asdfvcx wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2007 2:04 pm
Your bank told you have a great credit score. You haven't mentioned being turned down for a loan, or anything similar.

You need to relax.
Actually, I was turned down for a student line of credit without a cosignor, so I guess I was wondering after reading some postings here if having too many CCs could have something to do with it.Because prior to returning to school this fall, I've been working continously for 8 years, I have what I believe to be great credit and I have a decent amount saved. That's sort of the background of where my question arose. As for the student LOC, I"ve already posted in another post about that, so didn't really want to be cross-posting about that here,I was just wondering if cancelling some CCs will have any effect. Sounds like it won't, so I won't bother. Thanks.
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I should remind you guys that your credit rating DOES take a hit everytime you apply for a new credit card (as it implies that you need more short term loans). My sister was working with the CIBC VISA team the past year so yes this is confirmed. Keep only one or two credit cards and cancel all the rest! (I'm not sure but apparantly if you cancel your cards your rating goes back up).
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TheFuteballer wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2007 6:27 pm
I should remind you guys that your credit rating DOES take a hit everytime you apply for a new credit card (as it implies that you need more short term loans). My sister was working for CIBC the past year so yes this is confirmed. Keep only one or two credit cards and cancel all the rest! (I'm not sure but apparantly if you cancel your cards your rating goes back up).
The original poster already has the credit cards. The damage from the "hits" is already done. Canceling cards will not reverse the damage caused by the hits or inquiries when he first applied. I think the best thing he can do is use the cards, pay them on time, and not apply for anymore credit for a while. His score is sure to rise. There are many threads on this issue. Canceling some of his cards will reduce his credit history, which can be really bad if he cancels the cards he's had the longest. If he is carrying any debt, or soon will be, it will increase his debt to available credit ratio, which significantly lowers his score, and makes it much more difficult to get credit when he needs it. I am a firm believer in obtaining credit when you don't need it, so it's already in place with favourable rates when you do need it.

If he's that concerned about having too much credit available to him, I would recommend he simply call the banks, and have them reduce the credit limit on some of the cards. This way he lowers his risk of getting severely into debt, but maintains his credit history.
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Mar 6, 2005
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ariell wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2007 3:10 pm
Actually, I was turned down for a student line of credit without a cosignor, so I guess I was wondering after reading some postings here if having too many CCs could have something to do with it.Because prior to returning to school this fall, I've been working continously for 8 years, I have what I believe to be great credit and I have a decent amount saved. That's sort of the background of where my question arose. As for the student LOC, I"ve already posted in another post about that, so didn't really want to be cross-posting about that here,I was just wondering if cancelling some CCs will have any effect. Sounds like it won't, so I won't bother. Thanks.
That's not too unusual. Most banks require a co-signer for a Student LOC (they normally print this in the brochure). I would automatically assume that it's cause your credit rating is bad.

Rating is just one factor they take into consideration. You still have to meet the eligibility requirements as they want to make sure you can pay them back.
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