The Secrets of My Credit Score
The people I know and the employees at my banks almost have a fit when I tell them I have around 20 credit cards and a very high credit score, like above 800. For most people, more credit cards are associated with more debt and a lower credit score. More debt (for some people) I can agree with, but lower credit score? I could not disagree more.
Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com
The general misconception about having more credit cards is that they lower your credit score. This assumption could not have been possibly further dispersed from the truth. Having a lot of credit cards is OK, as long you are paying your bills on time and keeping your Utilization Ration below 30 percent. However, 30 percent ratio is considered the highest limit you can go to keep a good credit score. Lower is better. For example, FICO and Experian data show that those who have the best credit score, such as 800 or higher, utilize only 7 to 8 percent of their credit. Your utilization ratio represents what percentage of your available credit you are using and makes up 30 percent of your credit score.
Now, how about having too many credit cards? Having too many credit cards and maintaining them properly actually gives you an advantage to achieve a higher credit score. It’s shooting up your available credit limit (meaning making your utilization ratio lower) and showing positive on your credit report because lenders view you as someone who can be trusted with credit (because you are maintaining them positively by not racking up balances and keeping them active paying on time). After all, payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score. So when you score perfect both on payment history (35%) and utilization ratio (30%), you already have an advantage towards scoring higher on the overall credit score. The other 15 percent (length of credit), 10 percent (types of credit), and 10 percent (inquiries) will easily follow.
One of the maximum credit card holders with an almost perfect score recorded by Guinness World Record was Walter Cavanagh of California, who has 1497 credit cards and a staggering $1.7 million line of credit. Other examples: The Points Guy Brian Kelly has 30 credit cards and 805 credit score. Ben Schlappig of One Mile At A Time has 20+ credit cards and 837 credit score.
The point is, there is nothing wrong with having too many credit cards as long as you know how to manage money and credit cards. However, I must warn that it requires a lot of discipline and work and this is not for everyone. You have to be extremely detail-oriented and extremely excellent in handling credit cards and money. If you are one payment late your credit score will take a nosedive.
Everyone has different purposes of achieving a higher credit score. My purpose is the satisfaction that comes from a higher score and also to utilize the various perks that come from having lots of different credit cards. I will talk about these more in my next book, Credit Card Hacks: What Credit Card Companies Don’t Want You to Know. Stay tuned.