Do you carry 10 or more credit cards?

February 23, 2007

creditcard

In a recent article at MSN Money, a study found that 1 in 7 (14.3%)Americans own 10 or more credit cards! The average American has 4 credit cards and the average credit score is 674.

Where do you stand? What’s your FICO credit score? How many credit cards do you have? How many do you carry in your wallet or purse? Leave your comment here. Personally my FICO score is currently 658; down from a high of about 730 (I’ll explain later). I usually carry one Visa credit card in my wallet and my Washington Mutual MasterCard Debit card. I use the Visa for everday purchases which I pay off every month. The debit card is just for ATM use, although I rarely use this unless I’m depositing a check through the ATM.

Now I’m going to explain why my credit score dropped. I’ve got almost 4 grand in credit card debt! I have a MasterCard with $1500 on it at 0% that I’m going to pay off as soon as the promotion is up. I also recently took out a 0% $2300 balance transfer from Citi to myself and it’s sitting in a savings account earning 5.25%. I’ll pay that off in 12 months. I have no problem using free money and that’s essentially what it is. As long as you’re disciplined, this is a great way to earn a little interest on the bank’s money which they normally do to you. I wouldn’t suggest this, however, if you’re swamped in credit card debt, for obvious reasons.

If your FICO score is high though and your credit card interest is at 15% or higher, I would give your credit card company a quick call and ask them to lower your interest rate. What’s the worst that could happen? They might say no but more often than not, they’ll lower your rate. And if they don’t, tell them you’re going to do a 0% balance transfer (even if you’re not). They’ll send you to a retention specialist and they will most likely lower your interest rate to keep your business. There’s so much competition out there for your debt that they’re willing to do these things. All it takes is five minutes of your time!

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4 Responses to “Do you carry 10 or more credit cards?”

  1. Sammy Says:

    I fall under the average American group. I used to have about 10 but reducing them since i never use some of them.

    I never think of using the free money to earn interest from the bank. Sounds like a good strategy to me.

    Perhaps this is a good time to do so in oredr to take advantage of the credit cards I’m currently having.

    Thanks for the great idea.


  2. Why do you have that money at 5% when you owe $4k on the credit card? I’d pay that off fast as I can.
    Joe


  3. I have it making 5% because the $4k is at 0% on a balance transfer offer from the credit card. I never carry a balance unless it’s 0% money on credit cards. I pay all of my credit cards in full every month.


  4. Sorry I did not read more carefully, it’s clear now. Excellent approach.
    Joe


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