Your credit score is like a report card for your borrowing history. When you want to borrow money, lenders check this score to see how risky it is to lend to you. A higher score usually means less risk. Now, the big question is, how does having multiple credit cards impact your credit score? Well, it’s like this: you can have several credit cards as long as you are careful about maintaining a good credit score.
But, here’s the catch – if your credit cards are fairly new, your credit score might be lower. That’s because having newer cards brings down the average age of your credit history.
Your credit score is calculated using five main factors, and some of these factors are more important than others.
Payment history (35%): This is the big one, carrying the most weight. It’s all about how good you are at paying your debts. Having multiple credit cards means you have to keep track of payments for each one. Missing payments can seriously hurt your credit score.
Debt-to-credit ratio (30%): This measures how much of your available credit you are using. Going over 30% can bring down your score. Having multiple credit cards can increase your total available credit, but it’s crucial not to go over that 30% limit.
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Average age of your credit cards (15%): The age of your credit cards matters. Having new cards can lower your average credit age, which in turn, can lower your credit score. People with a long credit history tend to have better scores.
Types of credit (10%): The variety of credit you have matters too. Lenders like to see a mix, such as credit cards, mortgages, and installment loans. Having only multiple credit cards might not be ideal for your credit score.
New credit accounts (10%): Opening a new credit account can temporarily lower your score. Too many new accounts can signal risk to lenders. So, it’s wise not to open too many credit cards in a short time.
If you are thinking about getting multiple credit cards, don’t get them all at once. That could bring down the average age of your credit history, hurting your credit score.
If you already have multiple cards, it’s better not to close them, as that could increase your total credit and improve your score. Instead, use one or two regularly, keep an eye on payments, check your credit score regularly, and make sure you don’t go over that 30% limit on your credit cards.