Owning a credit card comes with obligations. It comes with a monthly bill to be paid to keep it going, and you must use it for your expenses wisely so as not to land yourself in debt. You can consider applying for a new card when you know you have a decent credit score and having one could not only make you eligible for a new credit card but also added rewards. here are a few questions to ask yourself before considering applying for another credit card.
Do you use your current credit card responsibly?
Before going on to apply for another card, ask yourself if you are any good at maintaining your current one. Do you pay its bill on time? If not, then it would be a good idea to improve your bill-paying habits first. Do you spend responsibly enough to avoid debts? That question also carries a lot of weight with it because if the answer is no, why would you want to get yourself into trouble twice? If you have a habit of maxing out your credit card, chances are you might end up doing that with your second card too. Also think about how often you intend to use it, and while maxing it out is not a good idea, not using it at all will not help either, your account could most probably get closed, damaging your credit score.
Are you new to credit cards?
Have you had your first credit card for at least a year? If not, you should wait for your credit score to be updated as it typically takes around 6 months to a year. Having a new first card means having a brief credit history, and that alone is enough for a credit card issuer to not trust you yet with another one. So, you should use your current one long enough for slightly more developed credit history (taking care to be responsible with it) before applying for another card. When you go out in the search for a new credit card, do not get distracted by false advertisements, instead, be on the lookout for ones that could suit your way of life and be beneficial to you in the long run.
Have you already applied for a card recently?
When intending to open another card, know that multiple hard inquiries (the number of times having applied for card present in your credit report) at once can harm your reputation as a credit card owner. Due to this being somewhat common, card issuing companies have strict rules about how many times a person can apply for a card in a short amount of time.
Do you have a healthy credit score?
If you are seeking to build credit, and do not have a good enough credit score to start with, it would be advisable to stick to just one card. Getting another card could potentially lower your credit utilization rate (the credit a person uses concerning their total credit limit). Try to make it a habit to use your current card carefully, just because you can buy things off it does not mean you should. Pay the balances that come with your current card as promptly as you can, and when your credit score has improved, and you may take a minimal personal loan once you are ready to apply for another card. Aside from that, see what your interest rates are. How this works is if your credit score is in fine shape, your interest rate will be low, making you eligible for a better interest rate than the one at hand. Also, when seeking to apply for a new card, check for ones with low-interest rates as they last longer, granted that interest rates change from time to time.
How do you plan on using your new credit card?
Are you applying for another card out of impulse because you were offered a sign-up bonus at a store you went to? It would be a good idea to rethink your decisions before finally signing the application. Keeping the new card as a secondary one might not help your case either as it would mean that the card is going to be lying around inactive and that could have it canceled, damaging your credit card score.
Do you intend to sign up for a loan anytime soon?
Requesting a loan means you will be requesting other forms of credit, and if that is the case, it would be advisable to lay off opening another credit card account for a while. Credit card issuers prefer extensive credit histories, so an account with a lower than usual age could further damage your credit card score. Hence it is better to wait a year after requesting a loan to apply for a new credit card.
Are you financially able enough to own multiple cards?
If you already have several credit cards, notice how you are handling them first before signing up for another one. If you are having a hard time paying for the cards, now is not a good time to apply for a new one. As an alternative to opening a new credit card account, try to lower the expenses of your previous credit cards. You could risk getting into debt if your reason for applying for another card is because all your previous ones have been maxed out.
Ultimately, while it is true that you can get a lot of benefits from credit cards, they can, under bad circumstances, end up putting you at a disadvantage. So, to avoid that risk, consider the above questions. After perusing all of the above and doing thorough research on credit cards, if you find yourself in a position where you can easily afford getting a new card without the risk of getting rejected due to high-interest rates, poor financial health and bad management, etc. etc., then consider yourself a proud owner of a new credit card.