Having multiple Credit cards vs credit file

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Casper7
Casper7 Posts: 31 Forumite
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edited 3 October 2022 at 7:42AM in Credit file & ratings
Hi…
I have 4 credit cards, from 4 different providers. But I am mainly using two of them only.

I was reluctant to close the other two as they come with good borrowing amount. 

Although I wouldn’t use their allowance as the first two are suitable for my needs and affordability for now, I was wondering if keeping them is “healthy” for the credit score? Or just keep them if one day I needed them for urgent matter.

Can someone please advise if that is true? Or how to deal with a such situation?

Thank you

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  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 16,983 Forumite
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    Your credit score and rating are not seen or used by financial institutions, it's the credit history they see and use when assessing applications.

    Providing your available credit is used responsibly, paid off in full each month and the cards are no maxed out with minimum payments being made, having 4 CC's makes no odds.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • Ebe_Scrooge
    Ebe_Scrooge Posts: 7,320 Forumite
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    As above, ignore your score.  But long-standing, well-managed lines of credit are seen as a positive on your credit history.  Assuming you can be disciplined enough to only spend what you can afford, then it's worth keeping the cards open.  Use them all occasionally and always repay in full - after a long period of inactivity, most lenders will close the account anyway.
  • phillw
    phillw Posts: 5,595 Forumite
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    Casper7 said:
    I was reluctant to close the other two as they come with good borrowing amount. 
    At what interest rate? Are you ever going to borrow money at that rate?

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,485 Forumite
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    If you might use them at some point for a 0% balance transfer then that's a reason to keep them open.  If they are the type of card that never offers these (like my Barclaycard for the last few years) then maybe you want to close them in case you want a 0% card of some sort in the future.  Getting one may be easier if you have less credit available.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • [Deleted User]
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    Brie said:
    If you might use them at some point for a 0% balance transfer then that's a reason to keep them open.  If they are the type of card that never offers these (like my Barclaycard for the last few years) then maybe you want to close them in case you want a 0% card of some sort in the future.  Getting one may be easier if you have less credit available.  
    There is some argument about credit utilisation which closing cards will increase, it's maybe worth closing one if you think there is the chance of a new card holder offer though how long you have to wait for does depend on the lender, NatWest told me it was possible immediately when I closed that card as, like you, it stopped giving offers and was of no use to me when I had other cards that did. Weird that Barclaycard don't give you offers though, I have a balance on mine and currently have 2 years 0% for a 3.1% fee or 18 months MT offer at 2.9% fee
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Hi, can you just temporarily 'freeze' the two you don't use much? That's what I've done. I have three cards but only use one and don't want to cancel the others. Both CC companies suggested freezing my card for a while so I did that. To date it hasn't had any adverse effect on my credit reports.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • [Deleted User]
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    MalMonroe said:
    Hi, can you just temporarily 'freeze' the two you don't use much? That's what I've done. I have three cards but only use one and don't want to cancel the others. Both CC companies suggested freezing my card for a while so I did that. To date it hasn't had any adverse effect on my credit reports.
    It won't make any difference to how it's reported as both cards are not used, all freezing does is prevent spending on it, it doesn't have anything at all to do with your credit history. Both lenders are likely to close the card if not used for 12 months anyway.
  • Alex9384
    Alex9384 Posts: 950 Forumite
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    Casper7 said:

    Can someone please advise if that is true? Or how to deal with a such situation?

    Thank you

    If those accounts have a good history (no late payments, etc.), keep them all open.
    I would suggest to keep them active by making at least a small purchase every other month, or occasionally a larger purchase, otherwise your providers may decide to slash your credit limits if they come to the conclusion that you don't need them. If you don't use the credit, they may decide to offer it to someone else who will make use of it.
     
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