Whether it’s credit cards or coffee, too much of anything is bad! If you are addicted to applying for credit cards, then this article could be the antidote you are looking for.
Swiping a credit card is about as cool as wearing the best sunglasses or shoes on the market (at least for me). Paying with a credit card has an air of sophistication. With all due respect, debit cards and payment apps are fine, but credit cards add a sense of exclusivity to transactions. Like when you walk into a bar and the bartender knows you.
But for some, this fascination becomes an obsession, and before they know it, they already have cards from every other bank. It might be easy at first, but with a new card added to the mix from time to time, it can become a lot to manage. So how many credit cards should you get, and where exactly do you draw the line between necessity and obsession? Here is our opinion.
Just enough to space it out!
We are impulsive beings. With credit cards now available at nominal fees, the need to apply is often high. You should NOT be enthusiastic, but rather remain calm. This is because applying for a new credit card lowers your credit score a bit, as the providers initiate a thorough consultation. So applying for too many cards in too little time could result in a serious drop in your credit score. So as a general rule of thumb, let’s give you six months between credit card applications, shall we? In addition, the view of credit card issuers multiple card applications in quick succession as a sign of financial trouble. It does raise some concerns about your ability to make future payments and keep your accounts current.
Further reading: Tips and tricks for managing multiple credit cards
Enough to maintain the golden ratio
golden ratio? We’re talking about credit utilization ratio here, my friend. It is the percentage of a borrower’s total available credit that is currently being used. Somewhere between 10-30% is what doctors recommend, but hear us out. A new credit card increases your credit limit. If there is no corresponding increase in your monthly spending, your credit utilization ratio will decrease. However, getting too many credit cards could drive your credit utilization ratio so low that you don’t want it to go down. So slow down, take stock of your regular monthly expenses, and only if you absolutely need it, ask for your next Credit card.
Enough to maintain a healthy credit history
More on the subject of being impulsive, an increased credit limit (with the entry of a new credit card) could push you to live life a little dangerously, tempting you to spend a little more. This ‘little extra’ on each card you own could eventually add up to insurmountable debt in one of those months, which could be difficult to pay off in full. Before you know it, you credit score you take a hit, and your credit history that took years of effort to build is in jeopardy. Not only that, getting a new credit card can also lower the average age of your credit history. With newer credit accounts, you won’t have a long credit history to prove your financial diligence, and your credit score may suffer as a result.
Further reading: Unleashing Your Inner Wednesday Addams: A Guide To Choosing The Right Credit Card
Enough to manage your finances wisely
You see new generation financial influencers giving financial advice and how they use this card to travel, that card to dine, etc. But let us tell you this, what works for others may not work for you and vice versa. Understand your money management style and get only what you want. A new card may be all the rage, it may have the most benefits, but what if it upsets a system you’ve been following for years? More credit cards mean more due dates to remember, which later increases the chances that you’ll miss a payment. So it’s paramount that you have a system that works and then you can apply for cards that actually add value to that system.
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