too many cards?? help!

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by gilmores, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. gilmores

    gilmores Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if I have too many CC's at this point. My scores are all in the mid to upper 600's. I have:

    Corvette MC - opened Feb 03 - CL 2000 BL 1200
    GM Card - opened June 03 - CL 3500 BL 2100
    AMEX GOLD - opened June 03
    Cap One - opened June 00 - CL 400 BL 0
    Cap One Gold - opened Dec 01 - CL 500 BL 0
    Target Guest - Opened March 03 - CL 200 BL 0
    Ult. Electronics - Opened Apr 03 - CL 6000 BL 3100
    Lowe's - Opened Feb 03 - CL 1500 BL 700
    J Crew - Opened June 03 - CL 600 BL 150
    Pottery Barn - Opened June 03 - CL 600 BL 0

    I know it's a tough guess, but I wonder if I have too many store cards (5) and whether it's worth it to close some of these cards. Right now, Ultimate Electronics is not showing up on any of my reports. Bank cards are all at about 14% interest so looking at that variable doesn't really help much.

    Please help credit experts! Thanks in advance.

  2. willgator

    willgator Well-Known Member

    I had 29 all prime lenders cards no store cards score was 794 went to 27 cards score 794 I think lowering balances on exsisting cards would help you more than chopping credit lines and destroying history unless it's capital one then kill it no matter it's not helping anyway.....
  3. DemPooches

    DemPooches Well-Known Member

    Your number of accounts shouldn't be hurting you, you just need to let the accounts age, but the way your balances are allocated is definitely hurting you.

    If you pay each balance down so that what reports is just under 50% of the limit, you should get a nice FICO score bump. Each of our scores went up in the neighborhood of 20 points when we did that. (Not 20 per tradeline, 20 when the LAST one goes below 50%)

  4. SoParkDiva

    SoParkDiva Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: too many cards?? help!

    I don't know about that. All of the OP's cards were opened this year and some already carry balances above 50% utilization. On the other hand only 3 of my cards were opened this year and none of my 5 cards are over-utilized by even 10%. Yet look at my scores! I am still upset that I have a 643 with no derogs or late pays.

    Unfair! :mad:
  5. RichGuy

    RichGuy Well-Known Member

    Dem Pooches,

    Your point is well taken. You seem to have that issue figured out, and your personal experience is invaluable.

    However, in this case, it would be difficult to follow your advice, for the simple reason that overall utilization is close to 50%.
  6. RichGuy

    RichGuy Well-Known Member

    Actually, if the advice is simply to pay down some cards, then Dem Pooches is absolutely right.

    But that may not be easy. Let me reformulate it this way: to pay down some cards below 50% and then not charge them back up again may require alternative sources of credit, especially bank cards.

    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    Try to increase the HIGHER limit cards BEFORE you DUMP anything...

    "IF" you DUMP anything start at the BOTTOM!!!

  8. DemPooches

    DemPooches Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: too many cards?? help!

    Precisely. What the OP is able to do is entirely dependent upon the resources available. If there is discretionary income available there should be a score bump by getting all balances below 50%. If a choice has to be made, paying each card down to below 50% will most likely be far more valuable (score wise) than paying one off and then going on to the next.

    This certainly has to be balanced out with the APRs of the accounts involved. Continuing to carry a balance on a higher rate card may or may not work to one's advantage. If in so doing, one gets a score bump and is then able to get line increases as George mentioned or a new account with a promo BT offer, then it might be a situation where paying down highest rate first wouldn't be the most cost effective in the long run.

    When it comes to FICO scoring, one can never be positive that the model one fits within is the same model another will fit within. So far, with our reports and with those of every friend and family member we have helped with credit issues, that "below 50% per line utilization" has been a "magic number" resulting in a bump of in the neighborhood of 20 points. Can't guarantee it though so as always YMMV.

  9. DemPooches

    DemPooches Well-Known Member

    I detest Cap 1. But in this particular case, since these are the OP's oldest tradelines, I would not close them under any circumstances. I personally wouldn't use them either. I'd just sock drawer them and let them continue to help the average age of accounts.

  10. catnap1972

    catnap1972 Well-Known Member

    Keep the top five on the list, then decide on the rest. I'd dump the Target card as it isn't contributing much to utilization (and probably not much to age either), not to mention you're probably never going to see a high limit from it unless their business model changes drastically.
  11. willgator

    willgator Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: too many cards?? help!

    once you use them you lose all benes from them, as we all know they report only high usage no cl.... for now it would be better to keep in the long run better to close ......
  12. gilmores

    gilmores Well-Known Member

    thanks for all the advice everyone! it sounds like the 50% model works for most, so I plan on doing that to start. Also plan on closing Target because of the small limit.

    I guess part of my concern was simply having too many credit cards, period. I must say that using this website has been a valuable tool in cleaning up my credit, which by the way, started with scores in the mid-500's last May.

    I am certainly well on my way to a healthy credit situation again.

    If anyone else has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!


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