How many cards should I have?

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tothephonebooth
 
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How many cards should I have?

Postby tothephonebooth » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:32 am

I'm just starting out trying to build credit. I have a Discover secured card but I'd like to build my score as quick as possible. I know having too many accounts is bad, and opening them all at once is also bad.

But, someone told me on the myfico forums that I should open two more (over a course of time) and only keep a balance on one.

They also said keep uitilization under 9%. Does that sound like good advice, and why? :)

Thanks!
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kdm31091
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Re: How many cards should I have?

Postby kdm31091 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:58 pm

Generally speaking it is good to have 2 or 3 major cards in good standing and kept open for a long time. That said, you don't have to feel the need to rush and open cards. Take your time. Pay your bills. You do not need to aim for a perfect score right away.

It is ideal to keep utilization low (0-9%) but as much as people stress over it, it's really not that big of a deal unless you are letting maxed out cards report or something (and even then, it can quickly be fixed). The scoring difference between, say, 5% and 20% utilization is pretty small and meaningless because it has nothing to do with your long term history. Just a month to month factor.

rockyrock
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Re: How many cards should I have?

Postby rockyrock » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:03 am

kdm31091 wrote:Generally speaking it is good to have 2 or 3 major cards in good standing and kept open for a long time. That said, you don't have to feel the need to rush and open cards. Take your time. Pay your bills. You do not need to aim for a perfect score right away.

It is ideal to keep utilization low (0-9%) but as much as people stress over it, it's really not that big of a deal unless you are letting maxed out cards report or something (and even then, it can quickly be fixed). The scoring difference between, say, 5% and 20% utilization is pretty small and meaningless because it has nothing to do with your long term history. Just a month to month factor.



+1

Also focus on building history with cards that have no AF. At one point my oldest card had an AF and the issuer refused to let me PC it to a card with no AF. I hadn't used the card in years and finally decided to just close it. I hated closing a card I had for >10 years but I din't want to pay the AF and I was tired of dealing with an issuer that refused to work with me.
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