What to Consider Before Adding Another Credit Card to Your Wallet

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You have a credit card, and it’s been a great asset. You’re wondering if you should get another one. While having an additional credit card might be beneficial, having too many credit cards can be detrimental to your finances.

Getting another credit card may help to build up your credit history. It can also allow you to access some nice perks, such as rewards and a larger spending limit. However, there are some factors that you are going to want to take into consideration before you decide to add another credit card to your wallet.

How long have you had your current credit card?

It will take six months, at least, but typically a year after you get your first credit card to see any impact on your credit score. As such, it can be difficult for lenders – and for you – to know where your credit stands. On top of that, while your spending habits with your first credit card may be healthy and your credit history has likely increased, applying for additional cards in a short window of time can lower your credit score. It’s a good idea to wait a year after using your first credit card before applying for another one.

Can you manage an additional credit card?

The additional spending limit that a second card will offer is enticing; however, before you apply for one, you have to make sure you can handle it. What has your experience with your first card been like? Have you always paid your statements on time, and in full? Do you have the available funds to finance the payments on more than one card? If the answer is ‘yes’ to these two questions, then you will probably be able to handle the responsibility of another credit card. However, if you’re near the credit limit on the first card and you’ve missed payments, getting another one isn’t advisable – at least at this moment in time. Work on lowering the balance on your current credit card and improving your spending and management habits before adding another one to your wallet.

How will you use a new card?

Before you apply for another credit card, take your time to research and weigh out the pros and cons. Determine if having another credit card is in your best interest and consider your intentions for having an additional credit card. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are you going to use it for?

    You should plan on using your new credit card. If you intend on using it as a ‘backup’ and you aren’t planning on using it often, getting another card might not be wise. While opening a new account can help to boost your credit rating, if the card is inactive, you won’t continue to see improvements in your credit history.

  • Does the new card offer perks and rewards that your other cards don’t have?

    If there is some benefit to opening a new card that your other card does not provide, and you can handle paying off the balance in full each month, then it may be a good idea to go ahead and get an additional card. For example, you recently started doing a lot of travel, and you want a card that gives you the most frequent flyer miles to get free flights.

  • What is the interest rate?

    While your intention is to pay off your balance in full every month, sometimes financial setbacks can happen. Hopefully, if it happens to you, it’s only temporary, and you can bounce back quickly. With that being said, ensuring that you have a reasonable interest rate ensures that if you are unable to pay your balance in full for a month or two, you won’t be hit with a hefty amount tacked on that can be hard to recover from.

If you’re wondering whether or not getting an additional credit card is a good idea, or if you need help paying down the debts you’ve accumulated on your existing cards, contact Tayne Law Group, P.C. Our debt relief attorneys will help you make the best decisions for your credit.

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