Is there an ideal number of credit cards to have?

Like many people in Tennessee, you may have one or more credit cards currently in your wallet. The only way to truly avoid getting into credit card is to not use them in the first place. Yet, when used responsibly, credit cards can help you afford certain purchases and can help you increase your credit score.

With so many offers for new credit cards constantly floating around, it may seem tempting to open up as many as you can. However, if you are not the type of person who is extremely on top of your finances, that may not be a good idea cautions NerdWallet.

For starters, every time you apply for a new card, it counts against your credit score, as does carrying large balances. And while having a few low balances spread on multiple cards may not seem like a big deal, when viewed as a whole, those numbers can quickly add up. Having a number of cards with varying balances, spending limits and payment due dates can be hard to keep track of. Even one missed or late payment can get you into trouble.

On the other hand, if you are able to be responsible and pay your bills on time each month, having more than one card can be useful. Different types of cards carry different benefits, such as points, travel miles or cash back. Taking advantage of rewards programs can be a savvy move if done sensibly.

In addition, you may only be able to use a certain card at specific times or places. Finally, in the event one card becomes stolen or misplaced, having another card for back up may save you in a tight spot. This is general information on this topic and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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