How Long Should You Wait to Apply for Another Credit Card?
If the credit card you have is not the credit card you want, you have probably wondered about acquiring a second card. Over time, everyone’s financial needs change. Perhaps your current credit card offers little in the way of benefits, or you still have a secured card on which you have built your credit history.
You might wonder, “How long should I wait to apply for another credit card?” The answer depends on your financial situation and your credit score. Generally, it does not make sense to apply for another credit card, even if it may offer lower interest rates and more rewards, if your credit score has not increased.
Multiple Credit Card Advantages
There are definite advantages to having more than one credit card. If you qualify, you could receive a lower APR. Your second card might offer rewards such as cash-back bonuses or points you can redeem for merchandise or services, such as airline miles or hotel rooms.
If your credit cards are from different lenders, and one provides a zero- or low-interest balance transfer offer, you can transfer the balance from your other card, then use the card from which you transferred the balance for your everyday transactions. That way, the card to which you transferred the balance becomes a form of separate loan, and you are not paying interest on other transactions.
A balance transfer option is a good reason to obtain a second card, but it is a good idea to wait until you have had your initial card at least a year before applying for another one.
Of course, a second card can prove a lifesaver if your first card is lost or stolen. Just make sure to keep the cards separately, rather than putting both in your wallet, so you do not lose them at the same time.
Having more than one card and using them responsibly can improve your credit score. This is an advantage if you eventually intend to purchase a car or home. The best way to do that is to make sure your balance is always significantly below your credit limit on any card.
When to Wait to Apply for Another Credit Card
For every time there is a season, and you want to ensure it is the right season to apply for another credit card. It is wise to put your credit card applications on hold if you intend to apply for a mortgage or another type of loan, since a new credit card lessens the length of your credit history — a prime factor in the mortgage lending decision process. The added amount of credit could also mean you would no longer qualify for the best mortgage or loan rate.
Of course, if you experience issues paying your current credit card bill, it is unwise to seek an additional line of credit. The last thing you want to do is dig yourself into a deep debt hole. Once you have paid down or paid off your balance, and managing the credit card bill is no longer a struggle, you might consider applying for another credit card.
How Often Can You Apply for a Credit Card?
Applying too often for credit cards will backfire, even if your credit score is good. That’s because every time you request a new credit card, the lender pulls a hard inquiry on your credit report. This is the type of inquiry that lands on your credit report and can affect your credit score.
Numerous hard inquiries are red flags to lenders. Such inquiries indicate the applicant is not using credit responsibly.
Some lenders may restrict how often an applicant can receive a credit card. While these restrictions vary, they are usually generous. An example is Chase’s limit of five cards within two years, although few people need that many cards that often.
If you’re thinking about applying for another credit card, SmartCredit can help you achieve your future credit score so you qualify for the card you want. Our gamified system allows consumers to control their future credit scores via our proprietary tools. SmartCredit lets you control this score in actionable and measurable ways. You will find that you qualify for lower interest rates and other benefits. Contact SmartCredit today and start achieving your future credit score.