How many credit lines does the average person need?

Question by Miss Dee: How many credit lines does the average person need?
My credit score is in the mid 700’s; I have zero credit card debt and would like to boost my score up to the 800’s for future use.

I recently got a new credit card with the credit line of $ 10,500.00 (which I don’t intend on maxing out). Will this one credit card suffice for boosting my score; or should I get an additional card (i.e. AMEX)?

I understand asking for too much credit at once can lower your score.

Any thoughts?

Best answer:

Answer by Adam L
First, why boost your score to the 800s? With mid 700s credit, you can qualify for best-rate car loans, mortgages, etc… Having a higher rating really doesn’t get you much more than a higher rating.

Overall, one card is enough. The only reason to get an AMEX is if their card offered some nice perks – better than your Visa or MC.

Then, you would use the AMEX in places where you could, and the Visa/MC where you couldn’t.

What do you think? Answer below!

7 comments

  1. spifiman1 says:

    Both of the previous posters are wrong.

    For the best score/profile you can get you need 3 credit card accounts (revolving) with balances below 30% of your credit limits and 2 autos, boats, homes, furniture or personal accounts (installment) all with good long payment history’s.

    Most lenders require at least 5 lines of credit when they are looking at a application.

  2. Smoovy Loco says:

    If your score is in the mid 700’s, there’s not a lot that you can directly do to increase your score. If you have a score of 775, you won’t get treated any more special than if you had a perfect 850. You’re blessed to have a score in the mid-700’s, don’t get greedy. Since you just received a card with a high limit, it’s going to take at least a year of payment history for that one to even have an effect on your score. Credit and the scoring system’s designed for it to be used and built over time. Now, the credit bureau’s have practically cut out shortcuts to boosting your score. So just take care of the new card you have, and your score should raise over time.

  3. Christie says:

    Hint: Be careful of commenters who tell you that everyone else’s answer is wrong.

    That said, you have an excellent credit score. I agree that you shouldn’t worry about boosting it any higher, because you already qualify for just about every perk.

    Lenders (especially mortgage companies) do not like to see large lines of unused credit. You might not owe anything on a card with a $ 10k credit line, but potentially you could charge it up and end up with a lot of debt that you can’t afford.

    If it were me, I would reduce the line of credit on your new card to NO MORE than $ 5,000. Reduce credit lines on all your cards. That’ll get rid of “potential debt” that can detract from your credit score. Keep in mind, if you ever need a larger credit limit later, your credit card company will happily increase your credit line as long as you’re in good standing – after all, that’s how they make money!

    When a lender is looking at your credit record, they are looking for evidence that you pay your bills on time and that you do not have TOO MUCH DEBT at the present time. They don’t care how many lines of credit you currently have open, only that the lines you have in the past have been paid on time and paid off.

  4. Studly says:

    Christie is wrong.

    So is Smoovy Loco.

    Doubt me if you wish….but my years of research and sources say otherwise.

    From personal experience….I refinanced my home a few years ago….had everything ready to go, when my broker called and said they were changing things around. The company (Countrywide) saw my huge credit score and was now offering me an even better deal.

    So it’s not true that a 700 score is just as good as an 800. I can prove that myth.

    And Christie….one of the best ways to improve your credit score is to slowly increase your credit limits on your cards. Cutting the credit limit from 10k to 5k will lower the debt/credit ratio immediately. And if you are the credit expert you imply to be, you know that this ratio is a major component in credit scores.

    Let me offer you a great link….

    Go to http://www.lifeafterbankruptcy.com

    Search this sight and go to their newsletter areas. In the past month they have been running a series of articles on exactly what you need to do in order to improve your credit. These hints work for everyone, not just people trying to get out of bankruptcy. These articles are written by an expert who has appeared nationally on TV and magazines.

    (Note this is not a spam answer. I have nothing to do with this site…I just pass along great information wherever I find it)

    Note when you do, how he stresses increasing your credit limits. But don’t get crazy! Cristie does have one point…if a creditor sees you have a huge credit limit that may bother them a bit. But $ 10k is nowhere near that point…..when you start getting crazy and have $ 50k in available credit…that’s bad.

    Spiff is correct, the FICO people want to see at least 3 revolving accounts, a couple of secured accounts (mortgage, car, etc…) and a few years history. I would recommend getting a couple more cards with a fairly small limit, and use them for your monthly spending items.

    For example, I have a Visa Card that gives me point for every dollar I spend. I use this car for gas, utilities and groceries. In the middle of the month I send in a large payment to cover everything. Every few months I cash in my points for more junk for the house….

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