Does Having Many Credit Cards Hurt Your Credit Scores?

The simple and quick answer is no, it does not have a direct effect on the credit scores.




The following factors used by the major 3 credit bureaus definitely affect the credit scores:

  • Payment history 
  • Amounts owed - credit utilization (Total credit card debt / Total Credit Limit)
  • Length of credit history - the new model now looks at the oldest account
  • New credit - how many new applications were requested within the last 24 months?
  • Account mix -  varieties of account types such as credit cards, home loan, auto loan, and etc.

My account mix consists of a total of 23 credit cards, 1 home loan, and 1 car loan.  

I also have 3 hard credit inquiries within the last 24 months.  

My credit usage is 7%.  That is calculated as follows:

My Credit Card Debt $12,064 divided by Total Credit Limit $180,000 = 7%


My credit history is as follows:

Average Account Age:   6Yrs 9Mos
Oldest Open Account:   17Yrs 6Mos
Newest Open Account:  1Yr 4Mos

Most importantly, I have always paid on time.  No late payment.

All of these give me a credit score of 813.

You can have a high credit score as long as you manage your debt well, and are never late for any payment.  

One word of caution:   credit usage.  Even if you always pay on time, one percent increase in your credit card debt will significantly reduce your score.  For instance, you have lots of charges when you travel, which includes the airfare, hotel expenses, car rental, shopping, and restaurant charges.  These amounts will reduce your score even if you plan to pay them off when they are due.  When things return to normal in a month or two, your score will bounce right back up. 

To sum up, it's not the numbers of accounts you have that determine the credit score.  It's how your manage your finances that affect your score.




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