Is Having Multiple Credit Cards Good Or Bad For Your Credit?
Becoming debt free is a common financial goal, and so is getting approved for a large loan. To accomplish the first goal, you must concentrate on paying down the credit card debt you already have and very rarely make new purchases on your credit cards. To accomplish the second goal, your long-term strategy needs to involve borrowing successively larger amounts of money and then paying them back. Having more than one credit card can help you improve your credit score, or it can be a recipe for an unmanageable debt burden. If you are trying to rebuild your borrowing capacity after a bankruptcy filing or other major financial setback, contact a Philadelphia consumer law attorney.
How Opening a New Credit Card Affects Your Credit Score
The more credit available to you, compared to the amount of money you owe on debts, the better your credit score. Therefore, when you open a new credit card or get a credit limit increase, the amount of credit available to you increases, so your credit score goes up. Meanwhile, the credit checks involved in the process of applying to open a new credit card lower your credit score, at least temporarily. This is why, if you have recently opened a new credit card account, personal finance experts often advise you to wait a while before opening another card.
Of course, having more than one credit card can adversely affect your credit score in indirect ways, too. It takes organization and a relatively high income to pay off the balances of all your credit cards each month. If you make a major purchase that you will need to pay off over several billing cycles, you should set up automatic payments in an amount of at least slightly higher than the minimum payment, so you don’t incur late fees. If you can pay substantially more than the minimum payment, you should, so you can save money on interest. The more credit cards you have, the more complicated your monthly budget is; it is easy to forget to make a payment on one of them. Conversely, if you go several months without making a purchase on one of your credit cards, the credit card company might close your account with little warning. If this happens, your available credit will suddenly decrease, and so will your credit score.
What Is Credit Card Churning?
Some people open many credit cards in rapid succession just to get the opening bonuses; then they close the accounts. This is known as credit card churning, and in the long run, it is bad for your credit card score. First, all those credit checks lower your credit score, especially if some of your applications get denied. Second, if you don’t keep the accounts open, you miss out on the credit score boost you get from the additional available credit.
Contact an Attorney for Help
A consumer law attorney can help you avoid trouble with credit cards as you use them to improve your credit score. Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.