After finally getting control of my debt I have a lot of unused credit cards. I know from all the lessons not to close them. But total I have 8 cards. The lessons from 720creditscore say that you’re supposed to use 3-5 of the cards and keep them active, paying them off each month and never having the balance be more than 20% of the limit (if you only have 3 cards then you can use up to 30% of the limit and be ok, but when you have more cards you’re supposed to keep it lower). However, he said that when choosing which cards to use and which to leave cut up in a drawer as inactive, you need to pick the ones you have had the longest and that have the highest limit. The problem is…these are opposites for me! The cards I have had for a long time I got in college and they have low limits. The cards I got more recently (because I have decent credit and have never missed a payment on anything, even in crisis) have a higher credit limit.
Which is better? Those I have had longer or those with the larger limit? How would you pick?
You really only have to use them once in a while. Don’t fret about it every month. Once every few months is fine. If you’ve had those older cards for a while, call them up and ask for a higher limit. It doesn’t REALLY matter how many cards you have, as long as you pay them off. The reason 720creditscore probably suggests you not have more than 3-5 cards is because it becomes unmanageable and hard to track every card.
In short, kill newer cards with high limits only if you can get the older cards to raise their limits. Pick a card and go with that one. Charging to multiple cards every month and trying to keep track of them sounds like a nightmare.
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