Q: I’m in the process of rebuilding my credit. How many credit cards should I have while doing this? Can I have too many or too few?
A: You might think that the last thing you need when you are rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy or other issues is a credit card. However, if you choose and use credit cards wisely, they can actually help you in this endeavor.
In fact, have no credit cards can hinder your efforts to repair your credit. If not your credit card, what will be your source to report your responsible use of credit?
Opinions differ as to how many credit cards you should have. However, the general consensus is between one and three, but no more. If you apply for more than one, it is suggested that the one of the cards be a secured credit card.
A secured credit card is one in which you have already placed a specific amount of money in an account to cover card payments. However much money you have secured the card with is considered your credit limit, unless you add to it, after having made regular payments.
Just remember that the card issuer will not automatically pay your balance from your security deposit. It is still up to you to schedule a monthly payment.
Making a credit card a secured one shows creditors that you are serious about monitoring your spending habits and have the resources to make the payments on that card. All of these are bonuses when it comes to rebuilding credit.
If you are worried that having more than one card will tempt you to use them indiscriminately, then only go with one. Remember, you are not only rebuilding your credit, you are learning how to make wiser financial decisions.
If you want to learn more about secured credit cards, and see our latest recommendations, please check out our Guide to Secured Credit Cards.