Here's How Many Credit Cards You Should Actually Have

Oftentimes getting your very first credit card can be a difficult journey. With no credit history, some financial lenders may be hesitant to issue you a credit card; however, in order to build credit, the easiest way is to have a credit card. It seems like a frustrating chicken and egg situation, but there are ways to get yourself in the financial game. If you're going to college and are utilizing a student loan in order to pay for your education, then there might be student credit card options available to you, or if you have someone that already has a good credit history, they can co-sign a card with you.

However, once you do receive your first card, keep up on regular payments, and take all the necessary steps to build up good credit, you might find that banks will be offering you new cards hand over fist. But before you get too excited and start accepting every line of credit extended your way, it would help to know how much is too much and where you should draw the line. Let's take a look at how many credit cards you should actually have.

When it comes to credit cards, having a few will do

Everyone has a different financial situation and how they deal with credit. If you're the type of person that has trouble balancing their budget and rely too heavily on credit cards, then maybe having less credit is a better option. Especially when it comes to building a good credit score — which is largely based on your reliability to pay the balance you owe by a certain date — the last thing you want is to have two, three, or even more cards that are running into late-payment situations. This could have a negative impact on your credit history and be a factor in monetary stress.

But, if you're on top of your finances and are responsible enough to be paying on time, and not overextending your lending habits, then there's nothing wrong with carrying more than one card. In fact, according to FICO (via CNBC), people who have excellent credit scores (ranging in the area of 800) have an average of three credit cards. So maintaining more than one credit card can actually prove helpful to both your credit history and score. If you're extended a credit card that has a reward-based system, it might be more in your favor to get the card. You'll not only be building your good line of credit but reaping the benefits of the account as well. This could come in the form of cashback, travel rewards, or other point-based methods when you use your cards.