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CreditGUARD of America

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How Many Credit Cards Should I Have?

leather wallet displaying multiple credit cards on wooden background

If you conduct a Google search for “How Many Credit Cards Should I Have?” the result is astounding.

407,000,000 search results. And many of them are trying to get you to open up a new credit card. It is estimated that currently, Americans carry a total of $815 billion in credit card debt.

According to a recent report by ValuePenguin, an “average American” has about three credit cards. They also have an outstanding debt balance of about $6500. Also, as of Q1 2018, about 8% of cardholders were more than 90 days delinquent on their credit accounts. While baby boomers tend to have the most credit cards, millennials tend to carry the highest balances on their cards of any generation.

There is no perfect number of credit cards to have. Whether you have one or one too many, a credit card is a tool. Sometimes, these tools become liabilities. A better question to ask is “How many boundaries should I have when it comes to credit cards?”

Too often, we’ve seen younger people enticed by credit card offers only to find themselves deeply in debt because they lacked the proper financial literacy before opening that first account.

Some will argue that there are good reasons for having multiple cards — rewards points, discounts, airline perks — while these are valid claims, they should be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes credit cards can be a valuable tool. Sometimes they can become a pit of despair. What is ideal is to never have more debt than you can pay off each month. Even more ideal is not to need them at all. Relying on credit cards often means living beyond your means. If you’re relying on credit cards, it’s probably time to reevaluate your spending and savings strategies as well as your budget.

If you’re finding yourself in an increasing amount of debt and have gotten behind on your payments, you’re not alone. Scores of people across America are in the same situation. Many have found help through nonprofit credit counseling and debt management programs like those offered here at CreditGUARD. Our certified credit counselors can help you make the most of your current situation and make the best of your financial future through financial education and nonprofit debt consolidation. Our programs don’t involve any new loans. Call CreditGUARD Today!