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Question By
VastError

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What happens if I apply for several credit cards?
After over a decade of learning how to live on cash alone, I applied for a secured credit card and after 2 1/2 years have an excellent credit score. I have found it convenient to charge materials for my various jobs as an electrician and make one payment each month, instead of juggling a lot of withdrawals from my checking account. But 9% of the credit limit for that one card is limiting, so I would like to have several cards, so that I can rotate materials costs between them. I figure three major (not secured) cards, plus one each for Lowes and Home Depot will do it.

I am also running against a clock of unknown duration. I am primary caretaker for an elderly parent. While I hope they will continue to live an active life for many years, there will come a day when they are gone and I will once again be on my own. My goal is to be positioned to take over full responsibility for rent, utilities and insurance about five years from now. We share a very nice apartment in a community with high standards, and I hope to be able to meet those standards when the time comes. (I truly hate moving.)

I have seen conflicting advice about applying for more than one credit account at the same time. One opinion is that applying for more than one card at a time is seen as a desperate search for credit, and will kill any chances for approval. Another opinion is that multiple applications within a short time (two weeks by a single posting within this forum) are reasonable, and will count as only one hard credit inquiry, as it is natural that someone might want to shop around for the best deal.

Since acquiring the one secured credit card account, I have always paid the balance due in full, and on time. Even though the credit reporting agencies treat a balance each month as a "continuing balance," I have never paid any interest, late fees or over-limit fees.

So what's the real story?

I would appreciate testimony of actual experiences from people who applied for multiple credit cards at one time, while enjoying good or excellent credit.

Thanks in advance

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Top Contributor
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A secured credit card is still a secured card whether you have excellent credit or not. You don't mention your credit limit, income, or debt to income ratio. The bank you utilize would be a good start. What type of card and rewards are you interested in? Cash back, points, or airline miles? Try one card first.

Go to Chase, Bank of America, American Express, etc websites - all have a prequalification area to see if you're pre-approved. 

Reply by
VastError

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Thanks for the tip about prequalification.  FYI, I have no outstanding debts.

But you did not answer my question.  I am most interested in responses by people who have applied for more than one credit card at the same time.

Top Contributor

Reply by
mindjazz

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I have not personally done that. I have read where people have multiple browser windows up with multiple applications and then click the apply button on each one. 

Why the big hurry? Why not apply for a card, use it responsibly and then apply for other cards down the road? 

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I have done this thing

On the same day, I applied for membership in a credit union, an auto loan through them and their premier credit card (all approved on the spot), then went home and applied online for nine more credit cards:  Four major bank cards and five store cards where I regularly shop.

A little more than two weeks later, I have heard from all nine:  All major bank cards approved, and two of the store cards.

My credit scores with TransUnion and Equifax were both 751 when I started this.  No outstanding debt, no derogatory remarks and more than two years of responsible use of the secured credit card.

I expect the scores to better  five years from now than if I had done nothing.  See my original post for why the five year goal is important.

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