A lot of people have more than one credit card in their wallets. This is a pretty common occurrence, but can be one that carries high financial risk. Having many credit cards at once means that you are likely to use all of them regularly.
This can increase your debt as it can be quite hard to manage the different payments for all the cards. To manage your multiple cards well, you must understand the many different terms of service that are associated with each card.
How you manage your many credit cards could raise or lower your credit score. Read on to learn how you can manage multiple credit cards.
What Is the Risk of Having Multiple Credit Cards?
One risk of having multiple cards is that it is hard to manage all the due dates. This can lead to late payments and fees. With enough missed payments, you could receive bad reports on your credit report, and a lowering of your credit score.
With more than one credit card, you have access to more credit, and you are likely to overspend and live beyond your means. This could be the start of messing up your credit score.
The average length of your credit history could also decrease if you choose to close some of your cards eventually. Any time you close a credit card, it decreases your credit history and lowers your credit score.
Multiple cards also means that you have a high number of credit inquiries, since every time you apply for a credit card, the lender must pull your credit report. Whenever they do this, this action decreases your credit score by a few points.
Make Sure That Credit Doesn’t Go to Your Head
Before taking out many different credit cards, ensure that you can control your spending, and keep your utilization rate on all cards below 30%.
Credit card companies will be more than happy to give you new credit cards if you have a good credit score and a stable income. Although this is the beginning of the end for you in terms of your score if you don’t pay these cards on time.
Always Know Your Due Dates
Each card has a few very vital dates to keep track of. You should have an excel spreadsheet set up to help you keep track of these dates. This simple trick can take care of most of the problems that are associated with having multiple credit cards.
Most companies close the card holder’s statements on the same day each month. This is a useful date for you to know, and it could make the difference between paying for a big purchase in 55 days, or 25 days.
The payment due date is the most important date as it is the day of the month that you have to send money to the credit card company. The first day of the cardholder’s year is also when the annual fee of the card hits your statement.
Credit cards are essential to establishing credit, and having credit allows you to rent apartments, purchase homes, or purchase vehicles. We need credit cards to be productive citizens.
Having multiple credit cards is certainly not advisable though, and any financial counselor will tell you to avoid this as much as you can. But, if you truly must have more than one card, try out tips above to keep on top of things at all times.
Disclaimer: All credit products carry risk. Be aware of these risks by reading the associated terms and conditions.