How Many Credit Cards Should You Have to Maintain Good Credit Scores?

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Having multiple credit cards can improve your credit.
Having multiple credit cards can improve your credit. (Image: credit card and hand image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)

More Than One

If you can afford to have more than one credit card, it can benefit your credit. Bankrate says that contrary to popular belief, lenders do not assume that people with multiple lines of credit are more likely to have debt. Having older, established cards on your account that you pay off frequently will benefit your score.

Not All at Once

Applying for multiple cards in a short amount of time will affect your credit report negatively. Opening multiple accounts at once will make it seem like you are in financial trouble and need credit immediately. MSN Money expert Liz Pulliam Weston recommends starting with one credit card and applying for others later.

Bottom Line

Any number of credit cards, if kept in good standing, can positively affect your credit score. Only carry the number of cards that you can afford to pay off. Bank of America recommends paying your balance on time each month and never carrying a balance of more than 50 percent of the card’s limit to keep your credit in great shape.

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